June 14, 2009

NDDC board: Senators oppose Yar’Adua

By Emmanuel Aziken

ABUJA — Senators of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from four of the Niger Delta States have expressed strong opposition to President Umaru Yar‘Adua’s alleged decision to give opposition party Governors the right to nominate members into the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) board.

The PDP Senators from Edo, Ondo, Abia and Imo States at the end of a meeting have commenced moves to mobilize their colleagues against the nominations.

All but one of the twelve Senators from the four States belong to the PDP while the state authorities are controlled by other political parties.

The Senators are peeved that the President’s decision could undermine the PDP in the four states.

Sources in Abuja disclosed at the weekend that President Yar‘Adua in a bold move to cement cordial relations with the Governors ahead of his own re-election campaign has offered the Governors the opportunity of making the nominations into the NDDC board members at the expense of the PDP chapters in the States.

The presidency’s calculation is that all of the serving Governors even though not presently in the PDP may actually be on their way to the party.

It was not clear as at press time yesterday if the presidency has already dispatched the names of the nominees to the Senate President but sources affirmed that the list would be unveiled at the commencement of the third session of the Senate next week.

While some of the Senators are threatening to pull down the roof and have already commenced a mobilization drive to woo Senators from other States to support them some are, however, willing to allow the Governors have their way only if geo-political stability are taken into consideration in the nominations by the Governors.

Senator Hosea Ehinlawo (PDP, Ondo South) has, however, distanced himself from the game plan of his colleagues. Ehinlawo who incidentally was estranged from the mainstream of the PDP during the Olusegun Agagu regime and is reportedly an ally of Governor Segun Mimiko told Vanguard at the weekend that he had no qualms about his governor making a sound nomination.