Scrap the Nddc And the Amnesty Programme Now, President Told.

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A clarion call has gone out for the immediate scrapping of both the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme for massive failure and abdication of their statutory responsibility. Both organizations have been set up to rehabilitate and curtail the rising wave of militancy by elements from those regions. But as time progressed both organizations were invariably hijacked by greedy politicians and turned into veritable cash cows to fan their bloated egos.

As a result, to this day, instead of the desired succor, what is in place are sad tales of looted funds running into billions.  The disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) programme of the Amnesty programme has resulted into huge debts surpassing billions; the NDDC has instead turned the vast swathe of the delta regions into a sorry state of poverty, hunger and deprivation. Despite Trillions budgeted and spent through time, the endemic result is only regret, gnashing of teeth, and strife. No effort is spared to loot the entire treasury for just flimsy excuses.

Even payment for rehabilitated militants are not spared; they are embezzled as with others designated for welfare. The result is that within years of existence, both organizations have only succeeded in producing demi-gods, amateur godfathers, and proxies and accumulated unprecedented debts. While the godfathers smile to their banks, the poor and the less privileged are left to rot.  If they are not looting, they are instigating pressure groups that spring up to claim private ownership of the establishments forgetting that the NDDC and the Amnesty Programme are for the entire 9 states comprising the delta region—not Bayelsa and Rivers.

Also, the federal government should initiate steps to deal with the communities directly. Experience has shown that funds channeled through the organizations ended up in private pockets and frittered away on luxury items such as expensive houses, cars, jewelry and perfumes. “It is a shame what is going on in both agencies”, said Olorogun Frank. “Those appointed as administrators simply assume office and plan how to enrich themselves” he disclosed. Olorogun Frank pointed out that it is common knowledge that they assume that it is their turn to “eat” and therefore carry on without restraint. “This bad attitude should be stopped”, he stated.

Olorogun is not happy that other states are shortchanged in the process of sharing responsibilities.  “Cross rivers, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, and Bayelsa states have assumed that they own these agencies”, he said. According to Olorogun Frank, the almost 71 billion debt amassed by the Amnesty Programme is unhelpful. “What are they paying militants for? Can’t they simply train them and send them to work?”, he asked. Olorogun then called on Mr. President to commence the process of scrapping the two organizations for dereliction of duty.