The Global Forum for Accountability and Transparency (GFAT), an advocacy group, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sack Senator Godswill Akpabio from his cabinet. The group in a statement advocated reasons why Akpabio should go away from the cabinet.
The group said that under his watch, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has mismanaged and misappropriated about two trillion Naira in the past four years with no visible project to show for it.
They also demanded the removal of the sole administrator of the NDDC, Effiong Akwa, over allegations that he had in the past failed to declare his assets.
In a statement, the Group’s Lead Executive Director, Joseph Ambakederimo also raised concerns over allegations that Akwa failed to declare his assets while serving as the Managing Director of Akwa Ibom State-owned microfinance bank, Akwa Loans and Savings Limited and as the Special Adviser on Finance to a former Managing Director of the NDDC.
Asserting why Akpabio should go now, the statement said: “We use this medium to call on President Buhari to remove Akwa from office and relieve Godswill Akpabio from his cabinet without delay. They have both brought disrepute to the Buhari government which we have warned a long time ago.
“Mr Akwa’s non-compliance of the code of conduct declaration of assets must be investigated thoroughly and all those who may have a role to play must be made to face the full wrath of the law.”
The statement said the fact that there are “too many illegalities going on in the affairs of the NDDC at the moment and the Presidency looks helpless is unfathomable. About two trillion Naira has so far been mismanaged and misappropriated for the past four years with no visible project to show for it. This is the greatest disservice the Buhari administration has done to the people of the Niger Delta.
“No one has been punished so far and it is business as usual. This circus can’t continue and we must not throw our hands up in the air in denial. The time has come for the President to show courage. Someone must stand up and say enough is enough of this nonsense and stop it one time. Mr. President, stop the drift in the NDDC; stop it; it does not serve you well Sir.”
GFAT noted that the appointment of Mr. Akwa was wrong, in the first place, “because the appointment is unknown to the Act setting up the Commission and if anyone would argue as in this case they have said the President has the prerogative to hire and fire; yes he does have the power to hire and fire, but please let him use that prerogative wisely and rightly because millions of people from the region depend on NDDC for their survival.”
They made a demand that NDDC serve the interest of the people of the region “as an entity with all full powers of a democratic institution to serve the people of the region.”