In appointing the next managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Coalition of Niger Delta Groups in Ondo State has urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to strictly follow the Act that established the Commission.
During a press conference on Wednesday in Akure, Ondo state capital, the group, which includes the Niger Delta Youth Movement (NDYM), ex-militants, and youths from various associations in the state, stated this.
Comrade Akinfemi Omojuwa, speaking on behalf of the group, urged the president to grant the people’s request for the sake of justice, equity, and fairness, claiming that it is the constitutional right of Ondo State under the Act that established the NDDC in 2000.
Omojuwa stated that the oil-producing communities in Ondo State, which was ranked fifth among nine states under the NDDC in the country, had been deprived of their statutory rights since the commission’s inception, despite their contribution to Nigerian oil production and the statutory provision as contained in the NDDC Act.
We want to express our pain over the continuous marginalisation of the oil communities in Ondo State in the composition of the NDDC’s board as executive lawlessness and injustice that must be addressed by President Muhammadu Buhari and his Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio before it causes serious mayhem in the region.
We want to urge President Buhari to exercise fairness by appointing Ondo indigene the new MD of NDDC. It should be noted that the Managing Director of the board of NDDC is the turn of Ondo State while constituting the substantive board.
Section 12(1) of the NDDC Act states, there shall be for the Commission, a Managing Director and two Executive Directors who shall be indigenes of oil-producing areas starting with the member-state with the highest production quantum of oil and shall rotate amongst member-states in order of production. He Said.
This clear and unambiguous provision of the NDDC Act means that every member-state shall produce the Managing Director of the Commission rotationally, following a sequential order that uses the quantum of oil production starting with the state with the highest production and you will agree with us that Ondo State is the fifth largest producers of oil after Akwa Ibom, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa State had produced the NDDC Managing Director”
He further explained that the state had been marginalized severally and said “Records have shown that Akwa Ibom, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa States respectively have repeatedly produced the NDDC Managing Director in succession, thereby giving room for the marginalization of Ondo State.
“Records have revealed that Delta State had occupied the position of MD four times and the positions of the Executive Director of Finance with that of Executive Director of Project three times.
“Akwa Ibom State had occupied the position of Managing Director (MD) three times, and still had the position of the Executive Director of Finance with that of Executive Director of Project Four times.
“Rivers State had occupied the position of the Managing Director (MD) three times and had the positions of the Executive Director of Finance with that of Executive Director of Project four times.
“Bayelsa State had occupied the position of the Managing Director (MD) of NDDC four times and the positions of the Executive Director Finance and that of Executive Director Project five times.
The group, however, urged Senator Godswill Akpabio, Hon. Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, to “use his good office to inform President Buhari to strictly adhere to the Act and appoint the next NDDC Managing Director from Ondo State, being the fifth highest oil-producing state as stipulated in the NDDC Act.”