The Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, AYCF, has reacted to allegations of corrupt practice levelled against the management of the Northeast Development Commission, NEDC.
AYCF President-General, Yerima Shettima described the allegations of corruption levelled against the commission as false.
In a statement he signed and issued on Sunday, Shettima said findings by AYCF showed that the sum of N140 billion was earmarked for the commission, but it had so far gotten only N70 billion.
He explained that out of the N70 billion, N50 billion has been used to execute a considerable number of development projects in the North.
Shettima, however, stressed that the allegation against the commission was a handiwork of mischief-makers.
He vowed that AYCF would closely monitor the operations of the agency.
According to the AYCF President-General: “We have been following closely the systematic propaganda about the so-called hundreds of billions purportedly squandered by the management of the Northeast Development Commission. We are aware that this systematic storm in a teacup was created when the embarrassing NDDC massive corruption became an issue of national discourse.
“Much as we, as a group, would like to see that official corruption is openly punished, we would not be drawn into a malicious campaign to create a corruption case where there is none.
“We take exception to the use of unfounded allegations against the North East Development Commission. As true stakeholders who canvassed for the establishment of the Northeast Development Commission, we would not like to join the small crowd working to destroy the entire legacy with falsehood.
We, therefore, wish to declare as follows: “We took our time as a group to investigate the stupendous amount of money being bandied as having been either stolen or misappropriated. We have since found out that the agency has never got official disbursement beyond N70 billion. And we won’t be surprised to discover that the disbursement came in phases. So where did the news of hundreds of billions of naira emanate from? We challenge anyone to provide details of the so-called billions.
“Our findings have revealed that the total allocation of funds earmarked for the Northeast Development Commission was N140billion. And, most importantly, the agency has, out of that N70 billion executed a considerable number of development projects. As at the time of concluding our independent investigations, the agency still has about N50 billion safely in their treasury, despite the multiple projects it already did. Significantly, this is one agency being closely monitored by even the National Assembly. Therefore, fifth columnists, working hand-in-hand with persons bent on destroying the legacy are wasting their time.
“It should be abundantly clear to all and sundry, that the attempt to willy-nilly compare the NDDC management to that of the North-East Development Commission will never fly among enlightened people. The fact of the matter is that the two sets of Nigerian managers can never be the same. What the NDCC management has been doing for many many years and getting away with cannot happen in the North. We don’t harbour managers of agencies who would use public money to fund their flamboyant lifestyles. It is not in our character and therefore totally unacceptable.
“Our group, the AYCF, which joined millions of other prominent Nigerians in the campaign for setting up the Northeast Development Commission would have been the first to take the management of the agency to the court of public opinion. We would have since mounted a massive campaign for sanctions against the agency.
“It seems the agenda behind the latest unverifiable accusations against the agency were carefully planned to undermine the ongoing and future projects. The mischief-makers expected that the NDDC matter would give them a golden opportunity to hit at the Northeast Development Commission.