By Taiye Agbaje
Following series of negative criticisms of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) government, a coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), on Wednesday warned against discrediting the achievements recorded by public establishments under the administration.
Mr Solomon Adodo, President of the Empowerment for Unemployed Youth Initiative and 17 other civil society groups, gave the warning in a statement in Abuja.
The group urged Buhari “not to be swayed by rumour peddlers who had taken to blackmail, in a desperate move to earn an indecent living while subtly derailing the wheels of governance and development.”
They particularly expressed worry over what they called “the tirade of misinformation being bandied against the management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“Such acts are tantamount to derailing the development of the society and ultimately targeted at discrediting the achievements recorded by public establishments under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration
“This is contrary to the claim in some quarters that the commission had only executed pseudo projects. Every state in the region has had its fair share of NDDC infrastructural projects dotted to the credit of NDDC,” the group said.
The group explained that it became necessary to raise the alarm after carrying out due diligence on unsubstantiated petitions written against the management of NDDC and decried “malicious campaign” against the agency.
They lauded the Managing Director of the NDDC, Mr Nsima Ekere, for restructuring the commission for effective intervention.
This, they said, had resulted to massive execution of projects for the benefit of the region and Nigeria in general.
According to the group, Mr Ekere has taken up the responsibility to drive the Federal Government change agenda to enhance speedy development and restore peace in the Delta region.
“After carrying out due diligence on the activities of the commission under Mr Nsima Ekere, following series of petition we received, our findings showed that NDDC has indeed done well,” they said.
According to them, the commission’s feat was in consonance with its mandate and the resources available to it.
“The impact has been felt most by the people, in terms of road construction and intervention in primary and secondary school classroom renovation, provision of educational materials, street lighting, agricultural development among other things.
“The impact also resulted in increased jobs creation and productivity in the region.”
The group further called on the elite in the region to align with the vision of the agency in ensuring a better Niger Delta that guaranteesd quality of life for all.
Among other 17 CSOs that signed the statement are: Guardians of Democracy and Development; Independent Public Service Watch and Transparency Advocacy for Development Initiative.