A socio economic and political pressure group, the Niger Delta Development Initiative (NDDI) has expressed sadness over Nigeria’s worsening economic statistics in recent times.
It blamed the policies of President Muhammadu Buhari for the downward trend in the economy.
They also criticized the President for the failure of his anti-corruption campaign and for allowing his party, the APC to shelter some politicians they had previously described as very corrupt.
In a statement Thursday in Uyo and endorsed by its President and Secretary, Mr Ernest Ukpe and Tom Buma, the group expressed sadness that corruption has increased in the country despite the high expectations of Nigerians following the President’s promises of fighting corruption to a standstill when he was sworn-in in 2015.
“We are however surprised that the President is campaigning with corrupt politicians like the former Senate Minority Leader Chief Godswill Akpabio and the NDDC MD Obong Nsima Ekere who have been enmeshed in misappropriation scandals.
“Senator Akpabio, Musiliu Obanikoro, Orji Uzor Kalu and all the previously “corrupt” PDP big wigs have now been sanctified after their defection to APC. Recall that Akpabio was charged over N180 billion money laundering,” it said.
The statement said that “the President’s five point agenda and his economic policies have failed with no return on the country’s debt; the present administration has borrowed more than the Obasanjo, Yaradua and Goodluck Jonathan’s administrations in three years while electricity generation and distribution has worsened.
“Nigeria has become the poverty capital of the world overtaking India with more than 50% living in extreme poverty, while the UN predicts that Nigeria needs 11.9 people per minute to escape extreme poverty, but presently has a deficit of 6.8 people every minute, i.e. 6.8 people enter into poverty every minute.
“According to statistics by NACCIMA, more than 800 companies shut down within the three years of this current administration further denying Nigerians of the much needed employment opportunities and ruining the livelihood of many families.”
“Under the present administration Nigeria has become the 2nd worst electricity supply nation in the world. The country has not added more than 1,000 MGW to its supply bank while Egypt in less than two years have added 14,500 MGW of electricity, enough to provide uninterrupted power for over 40 million people.” It said.
The group expressed their support for a President who would ensure the immediate restructuring and practice of true federalism in Nigeria, commence the immediate development of the Niger Delta and clean up Ogoni and other communities ravaged by oil exploration and exploitation.
“That though we sympathize with the President as a human for his fragile health, Nigerians will want a very healthy and strong President who can cope with the rigorous demands of the office. We strongly doubt that the current state of health of the President will let him cope with the demands of his office.
“As we welcome the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces Gen Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd.) for the flag off of his Presidential Campaign in Uyo on Friday we will want to remind him that the Niger Delta people will only support a President who will give us restructuring, true federation and who will truly fight corruption.
“That the Niger Delta people will only support a President who will build our battered economy and who will support investments, develop the Niger Delta region and Akwa Ibom in particular.
“The East/West Road has been abandoned while only N3 billion out of the more than N130 Billion needed for Calabar/ Itu highway has been released to mobilize the contractor making the people of the region to believe that this could be another political road project.
“Niger Delta Development Initiative therefore call on the President to as a matter of urgency begin the implementation of the recommendations of the 2014 constitutional conference as regards the practice of true federalism. Bring all corrupt politicians who have formerly been indicted to book. Begin the implementation of a feasible and sustainable road-map for the development of the Niger Delta,” they further stated.