31 January 2014, Port Harcourt – A Niger Delta pressure group, Niger Delta Peace and Development Movement (NDPDM) has threatened to trigger a revolt in the region if the under-funding of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) persists.
In a statement issued in Port Harcourt, the group said it was drawing the attention of Nigerians and the international community to the “criminal neglect” of the Niger Delta region by successive governments in Nigeria.
The group noted that, “While we do not endorse any act of corruption by officials of the NDDC, we wish to warn that the continued denial of the legal rights of our people can only ignite the instinct to revolt in the youths of the region. If we allow this to happen, Nigeria will contend with a new and more sophisticated set of Tompolos, Ateke Toms, Asari Dokubos and Boy Loafs”.
It expressed regret that “the federal government that established the NDDC has refused to comply with the provisions of the NDDC Act 2000 which requires it to contribute an equivalent of 15 per cent of the monthly statutory allocation to the nine NDDC member states.”
In order to seek redress on the matter, the traditional rulers in the Niger Delta under the umbrella of TROMPCON had sued the federal government to demand compliance with the law and effect the release of arrears of over N600billion shortfalls in contribution to the commission.
The former acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Mr. Power Aginighan, in his presentation at the first South-south Economic Summit in Calabar in April 2009, had disclosed the underfunding of the NDDC by N600billion, given the provisions of the Act setting up the commission.
The federal government, however, has not challenged the claim.