Aggrieved youths from the Niger Delta region have lambasted the National Assembly for frustrating the budget of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The youths described the actions of the National Assembly against NDDC as deliberate act of wickedness against the region and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene and rescue the commission from its current financial mess.
A Youth Leader from the region, Sunday Frank-Oputu, who spoke in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Friday said after holding meetings with various youth groups they were on the same page to begin a mother-of-all protest at the National Assembly.
Frank-Oputu, who hails from Bayelsa State, said scholarship students from the region were stranded because of the inability of NDDC to fulfill its financial obligations following the actions of the federal lawmakers.
He said: “So we have resolved to give the National Assembly members 48 hours to resolve all the budgetary issues against the commission. We are also telling them that they should stop working against the collective interests of the region under the guise of exercising oversight functions. After the 48 hours if they refused to unfreeze the NDDC account we are going to take over the National Assembly.
“Without fear of any contradiction, we are going to mobilize from all the states in the Niger Delta and we are going to take over the national Assembly in a very peaceful but stubborn manner. It is to ensure that these lawmakers conform with the tenet of democracy.
“We will tell them that we are pained for what has happened. We are pained for what they have done to us. So we are of the opinion that since they felt that they want to do it the hard way. We as a people will shut down the National Assembly. Nobody will sit in that national Assembly since they said Niger Deltans, who are on scholarship through NDDC, should remain stranded in foreign land”.
He said the NDDC was about living up to its financial obligations to the scholarship students when the lawmakers frustrated the commission’s budget.
He said all the affected students would also begin protest against the National Assembly in Nigerian embassy located in their countries of study.
He said: “If Buhari as the President of this country has ordered that there should be a forensic audit, who then are these lawmakers to stop it?. It is unfortunate that these things are still happening at this time in this country.
“They know that if this forensic audit is completed many of them will not have the faces to face their communities. They collected jobs from NDDC, received full payments but refused to do them. That is why they are scared of a forensic audit.
“Particularly in my community, there are three water projects that are in the completed list of projects in NDDC but there is no sign of the project. Jobs awarded to them are given to their cronies.
“When they are paid, they collect all that money. We have two concrete roads one the contractor did it halfway, the other one did not even go to site. The entire N200million went down the drain. There is no community in the Niger Delta that has any NDDC project. It is claimed to be sited but there is none for anybody to see.”