24 July 2013, Abuja – Oil producing communities in Eket, Ibeno, Onna, Esit Eket and Oron local government areas of Akwa Ibom State have kicked against the nomination of some persons for possible appointment as Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, by Governor Godswill Akpabio.
The governor, it was gathered, had submitted the names of his Special Adviser on Technical Matters, Mr. Etido Inyang, an engineer from Ikot Ekpene, Umanah Okon Umanah, the current Secretary to the State Government, from Nsit Ubium Local Government Area and Loveday Ekuyok from Eastern Obolo council to the Presidency some weeks ago.
It was learnt that although the name of Ekuyok, who is from Eastern Obolo, one of the oil producing communities in the state, may be tolerated by the major oil communities, the inclusion of Umana and Inyang’s names is seen as an attempt to rubbish the provisions of NDDC Act.
Presidency sources confirmed that of the three names submitted by Akpabio, President Goodluck Jonathan was at liberty to pick one of them currently being scrutinised by security agencies.
Sources close to Akpabio said that the nomination was done in good faith and that the governor wanted the best for the state.
However, the Paramount Ruler for Ibeno, Owong Effiong Achanga, the largest oil community in the state, has warned that nothing should be done to truncate the desire of the community to have an indigene on the board of NDDC.
According to the monarch, the community had already written to the governor that they wanted the current Executive Director, Project of NDDC, Mr. Edikan Ehsiet, to be promoted to the position of MD of the commission.
He said: “If anything is done to the contrary, it will be a big slap on the oil communities. But we hope that what we are hearing is not true.”
Reacting to the development, a lawyer from Onna council, one of the major oil communities in Akwa Ibom, Mr. Bassey Nkanang, said that they would mobilise as a group and ensure that the provisions of NDDC Act were adhered to in the appointment of the MD of the commission.
– Soni Daniel, Vanguard