- The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has given a clean bill to the North East Development Commission (NEDC
- Yerima Shettima reminds Nigerians that the NEDC cannot operate frivolously as alleged by those it calls mischief-makers
- Yerima warns against the falsehood against NEDC in the face of the drama going on at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)
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The northern group, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has stressed that there is a marked difference between the controversies surrounding the operations of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the North East Development Commission (NEDC).
In a statement issued on Sunday, August 16, by Yerima Shettima, its national president, the AYCF warned those trying to compare the alleged corruption cases against the NDDC with the activities of the NEDC as mischief-makers.
As against the NDDC which was recently embroiled in a corruption allegation drama, Yerima said an independent finding had shown that while N140 billion was allocated to the NEDC, only N70 billion was released to it from which the commission still has N50 billion saved.
This, according to the statement, simply shows that the management of the NEDC had been meticulous as against what had always happened in with funds allocated to the NDDC.
"We don't harbour managers of agencies who would use public money to fund their flambuoyant lifestyles. It is not in our character and therefore totally unacceptable," Yerima said.
Read the full statement by the AYCF made available to Legit.ng:
PRESS STATEMENT BY THE AREWA YOUTH CONSULTATIVE FORUM (AYCF) ON THE SYSTEMATIC MEDIA ATTACK AGAINST THE NORTHEAST DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION*
We have been following closely the systematic propaganda about the so-called hundreds of billions purportedly squandered by the management of the Northeast Development Commission. We are aware that this systematic storm in a teacup was created when the embarrassing NDDC massive corruption became an issue of national discourse.
Much as we, as a group, would like to see that official corruption is openly punished, we would not be drawn into a malicious campaign to create a corruption case where there is none.
We take exception to the use of unfounded allegations on the pages of national dailies against the North East Development Commission. As true stakeholders who canvassed for the establishment of the Northeast Development Commission, we would not like to join the small crowd working to destroy the entire legacy with falsehood.
We therefore wish to declare as follows:
1. We took our time as a group to investigate the stupendous amount of money being bandied in the Nigerian media as having been either stolen or misappropriated. We have since found out that the agency has never got official disbursement beyond N70 billion. And we won't be surprised to discover that the disbursement came in phases. So where did the news of hundreds billions of naira emanate from? We challenge anyone to provide details of the so-called billions.
Our findings have revealed that the total allocation of funds earmarked for the Northeast Development Commission was N140 billion. And, most importantly, the agency has, out of that N70 billion executed a considerable number of development projects. As at the time of concluding our independent investigations, the agency still has about N50 billion safely in their treasury, despite the multiple projects it already did. Significantly, this is one agency being closely monitored by even the National Assembly. Therefore, fifth columnists, working hand-in-hand with persons bent on destroying the legacy are wasting their time.
2. It should be abundantly clear to all and sundry, that the attempt to willy-nilly compare the NDDC management to that of the North-East Development Commission will never fly among enlightened people. The fact of the matter is that the two sets of Nigerian managers can never be the same. What the NDCC management has been doing for many years and getting away with cannot happen in the north. We don't harbour managers of agencies who would use public money to fund their flambuoyant lifestyles. It is not in our character and therefore totally unacceptable.
3. Our group, the AYCF, which joined millions of other prominent Nigerians in the campaign for setting up the Northeast Development Commission would have been the first to take the management of the agency to the court of public opinion. We would have since mounted a massive campaign for sanctions against the agency.
4. It seems the agenda behind the latest unverifiable accusations against the agency, were carefully planned to undermine the ongoing and future projects. The mischief-makers expected that the NDDC matter would give them a golden opportunity to hit at the Northeast Development Commission.
5. Now that the agenda has failed ( because Nigerians refused to believe them) we call on all those who ignored the ranting by these attackers, to maintain their loyalty and support for the progress of the agency in particular and Nigeria in general.
Enough of this brazen promotion of falsehood, designed to mislead the public and dent the image of the founders and management of the Northeast Development Commission. Let everyone know that the AYCF will now set her eyes even closer, on the operations of the agency, including its budgets, in the spirit of protecting this legacy project of reviving the Zone.
Legit.ng reported how the acting managing director of the NDDC, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, slumped while he was grilled by lawmakers on Monday, July 20.
Pondei was cross-questioned by members of the House Committee on the NDDC over allegations of financial corruption to the tune of N40 billion.
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