05 December 2013, ABUJA — THE rift between the Presidency and Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State played out on the floor of the Senate yesterday, as two senators from the state loyal to the governor opposed confirmation of the President’s nominees into the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
This came as the Senate confirmed Senator Bassey Ewa-Henshaw, Chairman, Bassey Dan-Abia representing Akwa Ibom, Henry Ogiri, Executive Director, Finance and Admin, Rivers; Tuyo Omatsulu, Executive Director, Projects, Delta; Ball Turofade Oyarede, Bayelsa, Ephraim Etete, Rivers and Etim Inyang, Akwa Ibom.
Others are Mr. Paul Adah, Cross River, Tom Amioku, Delta, Samuel Nwogu, Abia, Uchegbu Chidiebere Kyrian, Imo, Maj-Gen. Suleiman Said, North Central and Abdulmalik Mahmud, North East.
N1 trillion to complete abandoned projects
Meanwhile, the Senate was told that NDDC required over N1 trillion to complete abandoned projects scattered in various states in the Niger Delta.
Senator James Manager-led Niger Delta Senate Committee had, on Tuesday, submitted the report of the screening of Chairman and members into the board.
But Senators Magnus Abe, representing Rivers South- East and Wilson Ake, Rivers West, opposed the confirmation of Henry Ogiri as Executive Director Finance and Administration and Ephraim Etete, State representative.
Though Senators Abe and Ake had sent their letters to the committee objecting the confirmation of the Rivers nominee claiming that the normal procedure was not followed in the nomination and that the state was not involved in the nomination of the representative, their objections were not reflected in the report submitted by Senator Manager.
Senator Ake noted that even the position of executive director was given to the state not for dash but because Rivers was one of the highest oil producing states, saying: “If you are not oil producing and not producing the required quantity, I don’t think we should be given the position. It is unfair not to consult the state on the appointment; the interest of the state is not protected. I am saying that we should be given time, let us go home and see how we can resolve the issue.”
Senate Deputy Leader, Abdul Ningi, said the issues raised by the two senators were fundamental and that one of the key things that made the Senate great was that it always refused to bring state politics into the Senate, stressing that every objection must be logical and legal.
He said: “On any given situation, this Senate must insulate itself on issues of Presidency and state governors.”
*Johnbosco Agbakwuru & Josephinee Erunke, Vanguard