Traditional Rulers of Oil Producing Communities in Nigeria (TROMPCON) have urged oil companies to remit three per cent of their earnings to Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) or leave the region.
The Secretary, Oba Obafemi Ogbaro, the Odoka of Ogbaro kingdom, made the call on behalf of the group in a statement on Sunday.
Ogbaro said the people of the Niger Delta region needed to cooperate with the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio and the Interim Management Committee led by the acting Managing Director, Prof. Daniel Pondei.
The monarch urged the commission’s directors to work with the IMC committee irrespective of their political, religious, ethnic and social leanings.
“We are not unaware of the activities of many of the redeployed directors of the commission and others inciting their paid lackeys to publish falsehoods about the minister and the new Interim Management Committee.
“We are particularly miffed about the sponsored spate of blackmail, backbiting and persistent bad press and attacks on the personality of the minister and by extension the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari.
“This is not only counterproductive, but it also portends an ill omen as it imposes on our people as the proverbial grass that always suffers where two elephants clash,” Ogbaro noted.
The secretary advised all parties to stop accusations and counter-accusations of fraud, pending the outcome of the audit report ordered by the President to determine past financial details.
Ogbaro said, “We feel encouraged by the speedy payment of allowances to our sons and daughters studying in the diaspora after years of neglect; the ongoing verification of contractor claims; and expeditious commitment to move the commission to its permanent headquarters”
“We thank the commission for its support to ameliorate the sufferings of our people as a result of the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, through the state governments.
“We, however, urge them to route some of this support through the fourth and closest tier to the people; the natural and traditional rulers in the next round of planned palliatives.
TROMPCON charged the National Assembly to use its oversight powers to eradicate corruption in NDDC.
“They should work tirelessly to expedite the budget and prompt release of funds to the commission and must bring to bear the full might of their powers on the oil companies that consistently flout the law by not remitting their three per cent contributions
“We are ready to cooperate with the NDDC, NASS and the ministry to sue these companies and stop their operations in the region if they continue to fail to comply”, the monarchs added.