A civil rights group, the Niger Delta Oil and Gas Producing Communities, (NDOGPC) has called on the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva to desist from fanning the embers of discord in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bayelsa State by pushing a nominee from his own district for the slot of the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
The board is billed to be pronounced later this month of June by the presidency as agreed by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio with stakeholders from the region.
The group says Sylva has given more than enough federal appointments to people of his Bayelsa East District at the expense of those from the West District, whom he loathe due to his negligence towards them as no son or daughter of the Bayelsa West District from the APC has been given a choice federal appointment.
The group made available a list of over ten federal appointments of APC faithful in the state and all were from Sylva’s East District with over half of them from his village Okpoama or by extension Brass and Nembe where Sylva hails from.
According to the National Coordinator of the group, Chief Preye Olomu, who disclosed that a 7-day ultimatum has been issued by his group and other traditional rulers from the West District, for Sylva to withdraw his bias nomination of his former Chief of Staff, Samuel Ogbuku from his same East District as MD for NDDC, or risk a crisis of confidence on him as the defacto party leader in the oil-rich state.
Olomu said: “There are at least ten appointments that have gone to people of Sylva’s East District without anyone, not even one, coming from the Bayelsa West District. This is injustice to us party faithful from that district. Now, the MD for the NDDC has been allotted to Bayelsa State and Sylva is pushing to submit the name of his own stooge? We won’t accept that.
“Simbi Warbote, Executive Secretary, Local Content Development and Monitoring Board; Mrs Oyanbo Owei, is the Minister’s Representative in the Board, and the Vice Chancellor of the Federal Maritime University, Okorenkoko, Professor M. Adigio, are all from Sylva’s Brass Local Government Area, with Simbi and Adigio, from his own home town of Okpoama.
“King Edmund Dakoru, is the Chairman of NNPC board, Alfred Egba (Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission RMAFC) are both from Nembe, Sylva’s paternal hometown. Professor Teddy Adias of the Federal University, Otuoke, Tonye Okio (of the Federal Character Commission, and Samuel Ogbuku, SSA to Deputy Senate Leader are all from OGBIA, in the East District where Sylva hails from.
“Where is the federal appointments for party faithful from the West District? None! Is Sylva saying we are not productive? This is not true as we from that District delivered for the party in the last presidential, gubernatorial and Assembly elections in 2019/2020.
“All we ask is for the MD of NDDC to be ceded to us in the West District since we don’t have any. The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs has already consulted with us in his last visit and we the APC stakeholders from that zone have unanimously recommended Senator Denyanbofa Dimaro to be the MD of the proposed NDDC board.”
The group maintained that Senator Dimaro is tested and trusted as he has occupied various positions of public trust in the past and had lived up to expectation. “Sylva should drop his own nominee, Samuel Ogbuku, who is already a federal appointee in the APC government, so that the nomination of Senator Dimaro shall not be in contest so as not to give us away as not being united on a common cause.
“We need peace in the party and not needless crisis. Sylva should be contented since he has several others. Why is he so desperate to make all the nominations? Let the MD be left in the confines of Senate AKpabio who supervisees the board under his ministry. Sylva must be seen to carry all districts along in the APC without bias to others not from his district. On Senator Dimaro we stand for NDDC MD!”, Olomu concluded.