By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA: Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Mr. Yekini Nabena has accused the Peoples Democratic Party PDP of sabotaging the Covid-19 intervention efforts in Nigeria, through its attack on state institutions and other intervention initiatives.
Nabena who stated this Tuesday in Abuja, was reacting to allegations by the PDP about fraud in the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC, particularly its Covid-19 intervention efforts to provide Personal Protective Equipment PPE and other medical kits to fight the spread of disease in the Niger Delta region.
The Bayelsa-born APC chieftain urged the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC to focus on its mandate, “despite the baseless and obviously sponsored campaign of calumny against the interventionist agency”.
According to Nabena, “It is now public knowledge that the PDP knowingly relied on forged contract papers for its baseless and unsubstantiated fraud allegations and attacks on the NDDC COVID-19 intervention. I advise the PDP to focus on nation-building and support efforts to ease the inconveniences, pains and losses brought by Coronavirus on Nigerians.
“There is no fraud in the Commission. The PDP’s baseless allegation is deliberate and similar to its other actions to discredit government and other Covid-19 interventions in the country. It is clear that the PDP’s action is sponsored by those attempting to frustrate the ongoing forensic audit in the NDDC ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The NDDC is actively supporting government’s effort to combat the Coronavirus. Recently, the Commission secured presidential approval for its Covid-19 support to supply medical kits and build isolation centres in the nine Niger Delta states.
“The commission has disbursed N775m to assist Niger Delta states fight the coronavirus, along with N270 million as palliatives to youths, women and people living with disabilities affected by the lockdown.
“The PDP should bury their heads in shame for their corrupt and shameful antecedents in the NDDC. Perhaps, the PDP should have done a simple search on why a Federal High Court sent one of its Senators to prison.”
He said under the PDP, “the Commission was mandated to conceive, plan and implement plans for the sustainable development of the Niger Delta, known as the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan (NDRDMP) with a whopping sum of N12 billion expended on a document that is less than 257 pages but the former ruling party did not have anything to show.
“The creation of the plan started in 2001, yet up till now, the Master Plan has not been published. So far, a whopping sum of N12 billion has been expended. Since inception, the Master Plan has constituted the single largest expenditure head of NDDC budget.”
The APC spokesman also said that since inception till now, PDP Senators have being the Senate Committee Chairman of the NDDC, a means he said the party has been using resources meant to develop the Niger Delta into funding party activities.