Posted by Ejikeme Omenazu | 5 November 2019 | 743 times
Controversies surrounding the appointment of the new board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) continued, on Monday, as the Ijaw Youth Congress (IYC) Worldwide, has stated that President Muhammadu Buhari erred in his appointment of the chairman and managing director, insisting that the exercise was fraught with illegality.
IYC, in a statement made available to DAILY INDEPENDENT on Monday, maintained that the composition of the new board, which had already received the blessing of the Senate, was not in line with the provisions of the NDDC Establishment Act 2000, especially Section 4 of the Act.
It would be recalled that President Buhari recently named a 16-member NDDC board, with Dr Pius Odubu from Edo State as chairman and Bernard Okumagba from Delta State, as Managing Director.
Pereotubo Oweilaemi, IYC President Worldwide, in the statement, maintained that the Act stated that the office of the board chairman should rotate among the member states of the commission in alphabetical order.
According to him, “From available records, since the establishment of the commission, this provision has been the guiding principle in the composition of the board.
“Thus, Abia produced the first chairman in the person of Oyema Oguchukwu in 2001, followed by Akwa Ibom, Amb. Sam Edem; then, Bayelsa, Larry Konya and Dr, Timipa respectively, while Cross River got its turn with Bassy Ewa-Henshaw, who was appointed by Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
“However, Senator Victor Ndoma –Egba (SAN) who was appointed by Buhari in 2016 completed the state’s turn in the last management board.”
The IYC boss maintained that the next state to produce the chairmanship position, according to the alphabetical order, should have been Delta State and not Edo State.
He stated: “President Buhari skipped this time tested principle in flagrant violation of the extant law. We will not allow such illegality to fester. IYC will take all lawful steps to right the wrong.
“The Managing Director position given to Delta State is a Greek gift. It is supposed to remain in Bayelsa State following the quantum of oil productions as provided by the NDDC Establishment Act.”
IYC reiterated that no single ethnic group should dominate the appointments of the commission in Delta State, adding that by the present arrangement, only Urhobo ethnic group occupied the Managing Director and the commissioner, representing Delta State in the NDDC board positions, insisting that it was an aberration to all known legal norms, including our constitution.
“For a very long time, the Ijaws have not occupied the management position in the board. As the highest oil and gas producing ethnic group in the state, we cannot be allowed to be relegated to the background.
“We, therefore, request that the position of the chairman should be revised immediately and give it to Delta State.
“We also demand further that Ijaw person should be appointed as the chairman of the commission from Delta State, because, all the major ethnic groups, excluding the Ijaw nation, have produced members in the management board of the commission in recent times.
“One ethnic group should not dominate the board from Delta State at least for the sake of peace in the oil industry. IYC will stop at nothing within the confines of the law to achieve our demand.
“The Federal Government and all political players in the All Progressives Congress (APC) should thread with caution in order not to cause crisis in the oil sectors. A word is enough for the wise,” the IYC added. (Independent)
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