Port Harcourt — The Watchdog for Progressives Ijaw on Sunday reminded President Muhammadu Buhari that Bayelsa State was the next in line to produce the substantive Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
WPI Coordinator, Lambert Olambo, urged that other states in the region should support Bayelsa State in producing the next substantive NDDC Managing Director in the interest of justice, equity and fairness.
Olambo said it would be unacceptable and a breach of the Act establishing NDDC to allow any other state apart from Bayelsa to occupy the top position of NDDC and called on President Buhari to undertake due diligence on the matter in order to avoid crisis in the region.
“We understand that some states are lobbying for it. Investigations we conducted revealed that Ondo State through its governor had relocated to Abuja to mount pressure on the Presidency to nominate the next managing director of NDDC from Ondo.
“But the truth is that Ondo is not qualified to occupy that position. Those hanging around President Buhari and collecting money from desperate politicians seeking this juicy appointment are simply cashing out and deceiving people.
“The fact remains that the law establishing the NDDC rotates the chairman of the governing board of the NDDC alphabetically from A-R among the oil producing states, while the managing director rotates among the four states with the highest oil production quota. Ondo and even Edo states are not part of the four highest oil producing states as recommended by the Act.
“So, the recent agitation by Ondo and Edo states to have the MD slot is borne out of mischief and promoted by some selfish individuals around the President, who can do anything in exchange for money”.
Insisting that it was Bayelsa’s turn, Olambo explained that “Since its establishment in 2000, Akwa Ibom has produced two substantive Managing Directors; Delta has produced two; Rivers State has also got two except Bayelsa which is the only state that has got only one MD among the four states.
“So the issue of Bayelsa in the line to produce the next substantive managing director is a matter that is evident and should not incur any contention. While the appointment of executive directors is at the prerogative of the president to assign portfolios as he deems necessary.
“Therefore, there is no iota of doubt that it is the turn of Bayelsa to have the Managing Director of the NDDC. Any attempt to do the contrary will not just be a breach of the Act establishing the commission but also a recipe for crisis”.
The group also said President Buhari was in order to have appointed an astute administrator, Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua, from Delta State to act as the Managing Director of the Commission.
Describing Audu-Ohwavborua as a consummate technocrat, who understood the challenges of the NDDC having served as a director in the commission, Olambo said the new acting managing director would surely redirect and refocus the agency to work in line with the Act establishing it.
He commended Buhari for summoning the courage to end the era of administrative impunity in the commission and called on all stakeholders to support Audu-Ohwavborua pending the inauguration of a new board.
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