*Wants name of Senator with 300 contracts revealed
Port Harcourt — The people of Ogoni have berated the ninth Senate over moves to vitiate the interim management committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, led by Dr. Joy Nunieh, as Acting Managing Director of the Commission.
This is as Senate President Ahmed Lawan, yesterday, during the confirmation of nominees forwarded by President Muhammadu Buhari, to the National Assembly for confirmation as board members of the Commission, said any NDDC structure which exists before now will be invalidated.
Lawan, speaking on the interim committee currently overseeing NDDC said, “I think there’s no ambiguity in this matter. Mr. President sent to the Senate his request for us to confirm his nominees. As soon as they (nominees) are confirmed, I’m sure any other structure that exists now is vitiated.”
The Senate had also rejected the nomination of Dr. Joy Nunieh, as nominee representing Rivers State on NDDC board, over her alleged refusal to appear before Senate Committee for screening.
But the Conscience of Ogoni People, COOP, said it was not in the Senate’s place to invalidate Dr. Joy Nunieh-led interim management of NDDC, since the appointment was made by President Buhari himself, for her to oversee the planned forensic audit of the Commission as ordered by the President.
National Coordinator of COOP, Chief Gani Topba, also threw his weight behind the planned forensic audit on financial activities of NDDC, from 2001 till date, as ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Topba, said it was unfortunate that a Senator from the Niger Delta region would collect 300 contracts from NDDC without executing any, charging the Senate to make public the Senator’s name.
“From the beginning of NDDC, Ogoni has not gotten it good but there has been improvement under Buhari. Within his time, we have the Executive Director Finance in NDDC. We have Acting Managing Director who has support of Ogoni people and other Niger Deltans.
“I carefully listened to the Minister of Niger Delta, when he swore in Joy Nunieh; which the President said the mandate is to investigate the wrong doings in NDDC since 2001.
“While that is going on, it is unfortunate that the Senate would assume the office of the President by directing a board to go and take over NDDC, I think this is a disrespect to the office of Mr. President. The Senate can only screen and send it back to the President who will then decide what to do.
“We want to appeal to those people the cabal is using to destabilize the commitment of our sister, who we know, will deliver the mandate of the Federal Government on NDDC. I want to also appeal that no one should disrupt the process of the Federal Government’s move to investigate activities of NDDC.
“I charge the Senate to make public the senator who got over 300 contracts from NDDC without executing any. It is unfortunate that our uncommon wealth has been given to few cabals.”
The group also berated the immediate past Senator who represented Rivers South-East in the eight Senate, Sen. Magnus Abe, over his recent comment that the issues surrounding OMl11, do not concerned the people of Ogoni.
Gani Topba als warned against the politicisation of OML11.
“Also in my view, Senator Magnus Abe was wrong when he said that the dispute on OML 11 was only between Shell, Federal Government and oil companies, and that it did not concern the Ogonis. Abe should not bring that APC and PDP politics to Ogoni oil block.
“The Ogoni people launched a campaign against Shell in 1993 which led to the declaration of Shell a persona non-granta in Ogoni. With due respect to Senator Magnus Abe, when he made that comment, his support base in Ogoni dropped. If Abe clap his hands today, not up to ten persons will come out in Ogoni.
“Speaking as a representative of the common Ogoni people, I want to advise Senator Magnus Abe to respect himself and bow out from the issues of OML11, the issue of OML11 is beyond Senator Abe and Governor Wike. No body should play politics with our destiny and Ogoni oil because in this issue, many lives have gone.”