By Ngozi Flo Nwakezie
AS expected, the dissolution of the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua few months ago generatedÂ considerable interest within the polity.
This is becauseÂ Â many people and diverse interests are keen in making input regarding who represents them in the NDDC Governing Board. Unlike other states, there was consensus of opinion in Abia State that Barrister Nwagboso who less than two years of the mandatory four years as the Stateâ€™s Representative in the dissolved board should continue to consolidate on gains of the good works started.
However, this overwhelming support Mr. Nwagboso received cutting across communal and political divide did not go well with some groups whose sponsored candidates were rejected by the Presidency.
This group therefore resorted to cheap blackmail, rumour mongering as well as flooding the Presidency, Senate and State Security Service (SSS) with unfounded allegations against Mr. Nwagboso. The opposition to this group never came as a surprise since Nwagboso is the symbol of the struggle for generational change in the entire oil producingÂ Â communities of Abia State while his accusers are those who want to maintain the status quo.
As a stickler to the rule of law and due process, Nwagbosoâ€™s principled leadership style always placed him in confrontation with forces of opportunism, tyranny and mediocrity, but in the face of such challenges, he has consistently proven to be an unflinching defender of nobler values.
Nwagboso has been fearless in hisÂ exposition of the pretences and hypocrisy of the so-called political leaders in the oil-producing communities and Abia State. HeÂ always bares his mind on issues that affect the downtrodden; quite unassuming and unsparing on matters that are geared towards the advancement of the interests of the people.
Some disgruntled individuals and groups who are afraid of Barrister Nwagbosoâ€™s rising profile alleged that the Abia State Government influenced the Presidency to accept the State nominee in the yet to be constituted Governing Board of NDDC.
It is pertinent at this juncture to remind the aggrieved persons to desist from this current campaign of calumny against the Abia State NDDC representative since he is the best choice for Abia State.Â Nwagboso, based on his track record of accomplishments, humility and in-depth knowledge of activities of NDDC has all it takes to lay the foundation for a new NDDC in the State.Â They should cooperate with him to ensure that the lofty objectives of the NDDC for the state are fully realised.
Already, during his limited period of service, heÂ assured that the basic needs of the oil-producing Ukwa community were addressed in the areas of construction of standard roads, bridges and jetties the building and equipping of schools and hospitals, electrification, erosion control and provision of water.
In addition, Nwagboso already has promised to tackle such other human development programmes as the computer literacy programme, the Skill Acquisition Programme, the NDDC Assisted Mass Transit Scheme, the Solid Waste Disposal Scheme, the NDDC/Self Employment Scheme, and the problem of environmental degradation of the State.
More importantly, the new NDDC Abia helmsman has promised to implement the NDDC new master plan as it concerns development in the State.
While hoping that adequate fund will be made available by the Federal Government for the implementation of the masterplan, Nwagboso has promised to identify the critical areas that need immediate attention in order to enable the Commission prioritise its operations for maximum effects.
There is no doubt that the expectations of Abia people were not fully met in the last dispensation owing to lack ofÂ Â funding and limited representationÂ byÂ the memberÂ representing Abia StateÂ in the NDDC Governing Board.
President Yar’Aduaâ€™s nominee to the NDDC boardÂ has consistently used his friendly dispositionÂ and in-depth knowledge of internal working of NDDC to ensure that our people benefit from the new master plan modelled after the post-war Marshal Plan for the reconstruction of Europe.Â The master plan which is in the process of implementation is meant, among others, to address the question of duplication of projects and to reassure those who seeNDDC as a rival that the agency is instead only a development partner.
NDDC under Mr. Nwagboso undertook several infrastructural projects and various human developmental programmes to bring development to the people and usher in peace in the region. The Commission embarked on project harmonisation based on Presidential directive with a view to avoiding duplication of projects.
NDDC in the State during the period under review adopted a holistic approach to problems of the State by ensuring that projectsÂ were people-oriented.Â Â He assured the Abia people that the NDDC will give every part of the State a sense of belonging, stressing that the Commission has prioritised its operation by identifying the critical areas that need attention for maximum benefits.
During the inspection of several NDDC projects in March this year, Nwagboso stressed the need for concerted efforts towards improvement in the living standard of Abia people, particularly the rural dwellers.Â According to him, because of strategic and economic importance of the Niger Delta region to the country, NDDC has come up with people-oriented programmes that will not only rekindle hope but also meet the expectations of the Abia people in particular and the entire Niger Delta people in general.
According to him, NDDC with every sense of commitment has vowed to continue to offer an ensuring and sustainable solution to the developmental needs of the Abia people and the entire Niger Delta States inÂ human, physical, economic and social terms.
It is in line with this philosophy that the NDDC in Abia State in recent years has worked hard to ensure that the people have unimpeded access to amenities and programmes that the Commission is statutorily charged to provide for the people.
Mrs. Nwakezie, Secretary, Abia Youth Assembly, writes from Abia State.