Civic Group Exposes Plot By Nigerian Agency, NDDC To Stop Radio Programme, Demanding Accountability | #NwokeukwuMascot



A civic society organization, Social Action, has slammed the leadership of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over an attempt to stop the broadcasting of a radio programme tagged “The Voice on NDDC," on the Independent Radio 89.7FM in Abuja.

The civil group revealed that the NDDC had in a letter dated July 5, 2023, and addressed to the Managing Director of the Radio Station decried Social Action’s jingle for addressing the rampant corruption within their institution.

In a letter obtained by newsmen titled "Demand To Cease and Desist from Transmitting Jingles Damaging The Reputation of Nigeria Delta Development Commission," the commission frowned at the jingle for using the word “Corruption In NDDC, off Your Mic.”

Social Action described the plot as an attack on the civic freedom and a blatant attempt to stifle the voices of the Niger Delta people, who have long borne the brunt of impoverishment and gross underdevelopment, despite the region's rich resource endowment and the establishment of a commission designed to foster its progress.

In a statement by the Programme Coordinator, the Social Action, Isaac Osuoka, on Friday, the group rejected the attempt by the (NDDC) to silence public discourse adding that the radio jingle was to intensify civic actions that drive transparency and ensure the Commission provides inclusive services.

He said the mission of programme was not to smear the name of the commission but to expose the stark reality of its operations.

The statement read in part "Social Action soundly rejects the attempt by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to silence public discourse, as evidenced by the NDDC’s recent demand to cease broadcasting Social Action’s radio jingle on Independent Radio 89.7 FM, Abuja.

"Social Action’s radio programme, "The Voice on NDDC," is committed to promoting robust discussions about accountability within the NDDC. Our aim is to intensify civic actions that drive transparency and ensure the Commission provides inclusive services. Our mission is not to smear the Commission but to expose the stark reality of its operations.

Copy of Letter

"We have tirelessly extended invitations to both the NDDC and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to participate in public discussions aimed at boosting accountability within the NDDC. These overtures have been consistently ignored. The NDDC's sudden interest in its public image, despite its persistent apathy towards public engagement, is a cause for concern. When dialogue is shunned, the public has every right to form opinions based on the facts at hand.

"We are hopeful that the new management has the capability to correct the myriad of issues plaguing the Commission, as revealed by previous investigations carried out by the executive and legislative arms of the Nigerian government.

"However, hope is not a strategy. We call on the new management to demonstrate their commitment to reform by enhancing the Commission's public image through transparent and accountable actions rather than attempting to manipulate public opinion."

The statement said the group would not be silenced nor would it have the civic space diminished just as it called on the NDDC management to take the requests for dialogue seriously and actively engage with media and civil society organizations to better fulfill their mandate.


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