North-east forum warns against blackmail, media trial of NEDC management 

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NEDC Managing Director Mohammed Alkali flanked by Chief of Staff to Adamawa state Governor Professor Maxwell Gidado and the agency's chairman, Maj Gen.Terfa and other management team at the foundation laying for the construction of NEDC mega schools in Adamawa

The North-East Progressives Youth Forum (NPYF) has passed a vote of confidence on the current management at the North East Development Commission (NEDC), warning against blackmail and media trial of the Commission’s leadership.

In a statement signed Tuesday in Abuja by the chairman of the forum, Mohammed Adamu Grema, in reaction to a media report credited to the duo of Al-Mushahid Initiative for Transparency and Accountability and the People’s Advocacy for Transparency and Accountability, where the Managing Director of the NEDC was given a three-working-day ultimatum to respond to some allegations raised against the Commission.

The two groups had called on the Managing Director of the North-East Development Commission, Mohammed Alkali, to respond to allegations of mismanagement of budgetary allocations, amounting to N146,191,606,649.25.

Grema, however said with the creation of the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit to complement the activities of EFCC and ICPC, a single commission can’t misappropriate such a humongous amount without consequences, more so that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has zero tolerance for corruption.

While describing the said CSOs as a ‘Kangaroo organisations’, the forum said rather than being resolute, the groups resorted to pleading with the MD of the commission to respond to them, adding that there is no serious CSO that would turn to a beggar of response from the head of agencies.

“It is our considered opinion that repeated letters emanating from the kangaroo CSOs and a final resort to media trial of the NEDC are aimed at blackmailing them into negotiation for pecuniary gains.

“We equally noticed that in their long statement, there is nowhere they made specific allegations against the Commission besides incoherently beating around the bush.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the NEDC has achieved so much in the following areas: The Commission, in line with its strategic plan to improve access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT), established ICT Resource Centres in each of the six States in the Region which are hosted in tertiary. At least 4,000 selected youths have been trained in those centres.

“The Commission has ensured the establishment and construction of Burns Centres at FMC Yola, Adamawa, and UMTH Maiduguri, Borno states respectively. Covid 19 and other Contagious Diseases Laboratories in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe States are equipped with State of the Art facilities. they equally Donated Ambulances, Ventilators, Hospital beds, and PPE among other critical medical equipment.

“In other to address the issue of housing, the NEDC has constructed 1000 Mass Housing Units at Ngwom Town, Mafa LGA, and currently, construction of 500 Mass Housing Units is ongoing in the States of Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe respectively.

“The Commission has equally invested much in the construction of Roads to boost economic activities and link up communities that were isolated by terrorist elements. Below are some of the roads the commission is embarking on: In Borno State, the Commission is constructing the 22.5km Jere Bowl Area Roads Network (Phase I) while in Bauchi State, NEDC is reconstructing Kirfi to Gombe Abba 53km Road and drainages /culverts on Alkaleri-Futuk Road and in Gombe State, 53km Gombe-Abba-Kirfi Road. 

“Other road projects include the 54km Mutai-Ngalda Road in Yobe State, the reconstruction of the Kudzum bridge on Mubi – Bama Road, 32km Garkida-Dabna Road as well as 2.5km Road at College of Education Hong, in addition to Jabbi Lamba–Belel Transborder Road in Adamawa State and reconstructed Mayo Ndaga bridge in Taraba state.”

The forum, however called on the security agencies “to close in on these professional blackmailers to deter them from distracting the Commission from delivering on their mandate.

“As youth from the region, who have had reasons to bury our loved ones, watching our parents, brothers, and sisters sleep in Internally Displaced person camps, we won’t fold our arms and allow ‘Toronto CDOs’ blackmail the head of the commission that is giving hope to our people through laudable interventions in the areas of provisions of shelter, water, schools, etc and collect huge sum of money to massage their ego and insatiable greed for luxury.

“Where they chose to continue in this only pathway, we the youth of the Northeast would have no option but to come out in our numbers to occupy their office to put an end to these shenanigans. 

“We have resolved to unanimously pass a vote of confidence on the management of the NEDC. We are urging them to continue in this giant stride of guiding our region to recover from the setback cause by the activities of Bokoharam terrorist elements.”

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