Nabena accuses Gov Wike of instigating sealing of NDDC office in Rivers

Nabena accuses Gov Wike of instigating sealing of NDDC office in Rivers

- The Rivers state Internal Revenue Service (RIRS) on Wednesday, April 24, sealed off the corporate headquarters of NDDC in Port Harcourt

- Chairman of RIRS, Adoage Norteh, said NDDC premises were sealed off because the commission refused to make their financial records available for audit

- APC's deputy national publicity secretary, Mr. Yekini Nabena, said the Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike is behind the NDDC travails

The Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike has been accused of instigating the sealing of the Niger Delta Development Commission’s (NDDC) corporate headquarters in the state’s capital, Port Harcourt.

The Rivers state Internal Revenue Service (RIRS) had on Wednesday, April 24, sealed off the corporate headquarters of NDDC in Port Harcourt over an alleged unpaid withholding tax running into N50billion.

Chairman of RIRS, Adoage Norteh, said the NDDC premises were sealed off because the commission refused to make their financial records available for audit.

But the NDDC had swiftly denied the claims in a statement by its director of corporate affairs, Charles Odili, saying that the commission’s record revealed that the claim is incorrect.

READ ALSO: It is time to fix Rivers irrespective of party affiliations - Minister Amaechi speaks

Responding to the development while speaking to journalists in Abuja on Thursday, April 25, APC's deputy national publicity secretary, Mr. Yekini Nabena, said the Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike, is hiding behind the state revenue agency to witch-hunt the NDDC management.

According to the Bayelsa-born APC chieftain, Wike who is hiding under the guise of a bogus N50billion unpaid tax was using the RIRS to harass the NDDC in a bid to frustrate commission’s development activities for the region.

Nabena added that the sealing of the NDDC office did not follow due process as public records have now shown.

His words: “It is disheartening that the governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike has chosen to sabotage the activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission all in his bid to score political points against President Muhammadu Buhari's government.

“Wike should know by now that an attack on NDDC’s operations is an attack on the south-south and other oil producing states which the commission was established to develop.”

While calling for caution, the APC deputy spokesman called on the elders, leaders and stakeholders across the Niger Delta to call governor Wike to order.

“In the meantime, I call on stakeholders in the Niger Delta region to call Governor Nyesom Wike to order since he has decided to take his known executive rascality to new heights.

“Clearly, the sealing of NDDC’s office by the Rivers State Internal Revenue Service did not follow due process and is politically motivated to sabotage President Muhammadu Buhari's developmental agenda for the south-south and other oil producing states.

“The interest of the Niger Delta is bigger than any individual, in this case Wike. If this issue is unresolved and persists, the federal government must consider relocating the NDDC office to neighbouring Edo state to allow for the commission’s ease of operations,” Nabena said.

Meanwhile, the NDDC has disclosed that it is consolidating its existing partnerships with universities in the United Kingdom to ensure that the commission gets more value for its human capital development programmes.

READ ALSO: Southeast, south-south states to benefit from massive rail projects - FG

Speaking after a five-day working visit to some universities in the United Kingdom where NDDC scholars are undergoing post-graduate studies, acting managing director, Professor Nelson Brambaifa, said “it was important to find out the challenges scholars are facing in their various institutions in order to resolve them.’’

Professor Brambaifa said the visit afforded the team, including the acting executive director, finance and administration, Dr Chris Oyirinda Amadi and directors of the commission, “the opportunity to explore the prospects of deepening the relationships with foreign institutions, to ensure we take advantage of other mutually beneficial programmes.”

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