A former chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Mr. Timi Alaibe tactically avoided a question on his rumoured interest in the 2016 Bayelsa State governorship election under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The mild drama took place during an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja after delivering a keynote address entitled: “President Muhammadu Buhari and the Niger Delta struggle for development”, during a talkshop organised by a civil rights organisation, Change Ambassadors of Nigeria, an Initiative of Gatekeepers Foundation where he said that the Federal Government was indebted to the commission with accumulated debt of N750 billion.
Speaking on his governorship ambition, he laughed, avoided cameras and tape recorders saying: “No, don’t drag me into that.”
He had earlier outlined measures on how the new administration of Buhari would put things right and fast rack development in the Niger Delta.
He said, “As an immediate quick-win strategy, quickly identify all on-going, abandoned and newly awarded Federal Government projects in the region and put on a fast track completion plan, even if that requires setting aside extra funds.
“Where necessary, appropriate pricing reviews (including downward revision in glaring cases) and contractor-capacity appraisals can be urgently but carefully undertaken, but allowing only minimal disruption to project workflow.
“Much of the funding for the above can be sourced from the statutory contributions being owed NDDC by the Federal Government from President Obasanjo’s Administration till the end of President Jonathan’s years.
“That debt is reported to now stand at a humongous over N750 billion. Also, as originally proposed by the late President Yar Adua, a special fund should be earmarked and ring-fenced to undertake these interventions and minimise incapacitating bureaucratic delays”.