Douglas Dodiyi-Manuel is the General Coordinator and Chairman, Free River Social Media FRSM

By Douglas Dodiyi-Manuel

Good is not a universally appreciated and accepted phenomenon. As a matter of fact, it is fast becoming a subjective and relative term. With immediate reference to the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, one would appreciate the palpable threat that diligence constitutes, wherein one may argue that the protection of public policy and interest is relative to amoral demands, bad.

Since the inception of the Interim Management Committee, IMC, the NDDC has been inundated with a deluge of inquiries regarding deliberate misinformation designed to distract and misdirect the unsuspecting public.

On the part of the NDDC, it is properly seated with internal mechanism to deal with public relations, but on the side of the public, there has to be a public natured initiative that investigate the reality and substance of these malignant publications, and the intentions of the initiators thereof.

As at now, the two most cogent public expectations of the NDDC are the forensic audit report and COVID-19 intervention. The NDDC under the present IMC has demonstrated dedication and gusto in the delivery of public service, more so in a manner that is emphatically strange to, and a deviation from the culture of depravity. To the breed of unproductive politicians that have historically held the commission down, bled her resources and rendered it systemically decrepit, this dedication to public service is most discomforting.

Among the recent rants of naysayers, is an accusation that bothers on a letter purportedly issued by the Director of Procurement awarding a contract of N5.55 billion for the procurement of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and other kits to fight the spread of COVID 19 in the Niger Delta region. The source and veracity of the accusation places tremendous emphasis on the demand of qualitative education of our people in a contemporary world. Any educated person would simply understand that there are laws regulating the NDDC, and there are set down protocols pursuant to law, which are instructive to the effect that all contracts awarded by the Commission are signed by the Executive Director, Projects on the authority of the Ag Managing Director. The sheer knowledge of this protocol should have established the meaninglessness of these misinforming and distractive publications, whose authors have no inquisitorial credentials or historicity, certainly not in public service.

In any case, the NDDC has through the Director of Corporate Affairs, renderedan illuminating response, which may also be aimed at educating the detractors of good conscience.

On the note that the Commission has launched an internal investigation into how such a letter came to be issued and on what authority, it is pertinent toadvise detractors that with the motivation to make the NDDC function inaccordance with the law, our good hope is here to stay. The public is thus advised to always disregard publications that are treacherous to contemporary education. Only the ignorant buys ignorance.

Furthermore, I believe that it is public knowledge that the Commission has just secured presidential approval for COVID-19 intervention, by assisting the NCDC with the supply of kits and the building of isolation centres in the nine Niger Delta states. For the purposes of transparency public responsiveness, the public should rather scrutinise the delivery of this presidential mandate, rather than the expressions of petty malice in distractive publications.

It is noteworthy that presently, the Commission has disbursed N775m to assist the Niger Delta States fight the plague of COIVID-19. The NDDC also disbursed N270 million as palliatives to the youths, women and the physically challenged in the 27 senatorial districts of the region. A serious and worthy antagonist should have rather investigated the quality of service delivery.

Also, there are accusations that bother on contracts regarding Lassa fever. In the rejoinder of the NDDC, it was stated in a manner that challenges the sources of the traducers of public policy and good governance, that the Interim Management Committee has done nothing on Lassa fever. The accusation regarding Lassa fever simply reveals malice and a determination to blackmail.

It is therefore my informed opinion that the publication is symptomatic of education and inquisitorial deficiency, and deserves no attention. Hence, I call on the Commission to remain steadfast in the delivery of their mandate, and also applaud the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, whose posture alone is an epistle of functionality and dedication – Sir, you must remain undeterred.

Lastly, with the collaboration of informed inquisitions, the NDDC could be a citadel of institutionalized development, instead of tangential agitations.


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