Charged with Social Justice and Accountability, Advocacy Groups for Good Governance and Fight Against Corruption (AGGGFAC) on Saturday, roared against the current turnout of events in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The group made this call to draw the attention of the global community to the misdemeanor in form of appointment of new board members happening in the Niger Deltans community as it is of the belief that the Niger Delta Region are hosts to the numerous oil and gas industries in the country.
In a statement signed by its President Comrade Emmanuel Dienma; The group said; “We are constrained by the turn of events in the Niger Delta Region, especially at the Niger Delta Development Commission, which implements development plans of the region.
“Our people, especially the youths, are not happy with the process that led to the nomination and selection of the new Board members of the Commission.
“We are therefore calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to correct this anormally by ensuring that the appointments are in line with existing precedence enshrined in the Act establishing the commission. This may avert brewing crisis triggered by this recent appointments.
“Reports in the media has it that our leaders especially the governors of the nine States of the Niger Delta Region were not consulted as stipulated by the Act.
“We insist that government should not play politics with these appointments because it affects directly the lives and well-being of the people. The politicization of sensitive issues as this may not be tolerated by the agitating youth of the region.
“The NDDC as a commission is so dear to the heart of the people, to extent that most of them have taken interest in understanding how it works as regards growth and development in the region.
“We believe that the controversy trailing the recent board appointments, is because the position of substantive Managing Director, is the turn of Bayelsa State to produce.
“The hasty pronouncements of Bernard Okumagba of Delta State as MD, of NDDC, has generated conflicts within the oil producing communities because Delta is not yet due for the MD position.
“The law establishing the NDDC provides that governors of the 9 Niger Delta states, should be consulted on the composition of the NDDC Board.
“According to reliable sources and various National newspaper publications, our leaders have spoken against the hasty decisions reached in the selection process. This includes but not limited to:
“The paramount ruler of Seimbiri Kingdom and former President of Traditional Ruler of Oil-Producing Communities, Pere Charles Ayemi-Botu; President, Isoko Monitoring Group, Comrade Sabestine Agbefe, and the Vice President General, Ndokwa Neku Union, Chief Tony Uti, who said that the appointments were made in bad faith.
“Pere Botu asserted that going by the Act establishing NDDC, Delta state should have been given the chairmanship position which rotates in alphabetic order among the 9 Niger Delta states: Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, etc. Presently, it is supposed to be the turn of Delta State, but the position was given to Edo state.
“The monarch went further to state that “the President does not have listening ears. So, he is not expecting any change from him. But, the fact is that letter ‘D’ comes before ‘E.’ So, Delta state should have been given the chairmanship position. According to him, this is a very sad and bad precedent.”
“The President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Chief Legborsi Pyagbara, said there is nothing to celebrate in the new appointments.
“He said: “The frequent changes by the Federal Government of the persons at the helm of affairs in NDDC do not allow for stability and consistency in policy making. The Federal Government is simply using NDDC to play politics and not for technical delivery of projects. The NDDC’s Act is also no longer being strictly adhered to.
“How can NDDC make a difference in the Niger Delta, when the leadership of the Commission is frequently changed?” It added.
The group however urged President Muhammadu Buhari to enhance consistency and stability in NDDC, instead of using the interventionist agency to play politics of divide and rule.