NDDC Spent N10bn To Block My Reelection – Wike
The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike says the management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) expended N10 billion to block his re-election bid but failed.
He disclosed this during an appearance on a Live Television programme on Tuesday, lamenting that the intervention agenda has become a cash cow for politicians.
He, therefore, called for an expansion of the ongoing probe of NDDC’s Interim Management Committee (IMC) to cover previous managements of the commission.
Wike said that the commission would continue to fall short of its mandate of engendering development of the Niger Delta as long as politicians continued to interfere in its affairs.
“I have said before and it is very clear, my concern is, everyone knows that the NDDC was set up for the development of the region.
“Unfortunately, they have turned it into a different thing. NDDC is a cash cow for politicians.
“When they are talking about probing the IMC, I said why only the IMC? What about the other guy, Prof. Brambaifa and the rest of them. In my own election, NDDC brought N10bn cash to fight against us. They haven’t invited us,” he said.
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He said technocrats should be used to run the agency instead of politicians.
The governor explained that the commission was fond of executing projects in the states without consulting state governors.
This, he said, has led to duplication of projects or in some cases execution of projects not entirely beneficial to the people.
He said to stop the trend, he challenged the commission in court and won.
According to him, the court held that NDDC must consult the state governments before embarking on projects.
Meanwhile, the governor called on the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) and Security Agencies to be apolitical in the September 19, 2020, governorship election in Edo State.
Wike, who is the Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council for the election, charged the electoral umpire to use the Edo election to correct its previous mistakes.
He said as the giant of Africa, Nigeria could teach something good to other countries on how to conduct free and fair elections.
According to the governor, the success of Edo election would be largely determined by the role played by security agencies and INEC.
“This is so because they often interfere with electoral processes, which manifests as scuttling of the will of the electorate.
“I do not know if I have one hundred percent confidence in INEC for now but maybe, as the days go on, what we will see may give us hope.
“Nigeria prides itself to be the giant of Africa and we go to other countries to observe elections and adjudge them as free and fair. But we find it difficult to do same here. We must show one good thing people can learn from us.
“We want free and fair election. INEC should not be partial. They should use this election to correct the mistakes that have been done in the past.
“We want to see what was done under President Goodluck Jonathan when Adams Oshiomhole went to Aso rock to thank him for allowing free and fair election in Edo State then. We are appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to direct that democracy be protected in Edo election so that one man one vote will count. We will also go to Aso rock to thank him,” Wike stated.
He said that the Edo election would be easy to win and Governor Godwin Obaseki has a clear coast to return as the governor for a second term.