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Edo senators at war over NDDC nominee

By Emmanuel Aziken
Abuja—Senators  from Edo State have broken ranks over their earlier collective opposition to the nomination of Jude Ise-Idehen, a member of the Edo State House of Assembly, as the state’s representative on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Two of the Senators, Yisa Briamoh (PDP, Edo North) and Odion Ugbesia (PDP, Edo Central) in reversing their opposition to the nomination, said they were doing so in deference to President Umaru Yar‘Adua who made the nomination and Governor Adams Oshiomhole who they claimed had sought their co-operation on the matter.

However, Senator Ehigie Uzamere (PDP, Edo South), representing the oil producing section of the state is sticking to his opposition with a formal petition filed to the senate president against the confirmation of the nominee.

The other two senators, in a cross petition have, however, urged the committee to clear the nominee, asserting their confidence in his capacity to adequately represent the state.

In his petition dated July 10, 2009, backed with a communiqué from members of the state chapter of the PDP, Senator Uzamere deposed that Ise-Idehen was not the appropriate person from the state to represent the state on the NDDC board.

He cited, among others, that the nominee was still a member of Edo State House of Assembly was unknown in the terrains of the oil producing area, adding that he was nominated without consultation with stakeholders in the senatorial district.

“I have been inundated both through my constituency office at No. 103, Boundary Road, G.R.A. Benin City, and my office here at the National Assembly with protests against the nomination of Hon. Jude Ise-Idehen. Their grievances stem from non-consultation with them, coupled with the fact that the nominee is barely known, having lived outside the district for a long time.

“He is said not to be conversant with the terrains of oil producing areas. One wonders how he can effectively represent a people that do not believe and know him,” Senator Uzamere said.

Senator Uzamere’s petition was backed by another petition by members of Edo State chapter of the PDP, mostly from his senatorial district.

But responding in another letter also dated July 10, 2009, Senators Braimoh and Ugbesia in a letter to Senator James Manager, chairman of the Senate committee on Niger Delta, averred their confidence in the nominee.

Their letter said:  “After due consultations with Edo State leadership of the PDP at the state and national levels and further deliberations with the executive governor of Edo State, we, Senator Yisa Briamoh, representing Edo North Senatorial Constituency and Senator Odion Ugbesia representing Edo Central Senatorial Constituency, hereby confirm that we no longer have objections whatsoever to the considerations and confirmation of Hon. Jude Ise-Idehen as the Hon. Commissioner representing Edo State on the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

“Whilst thanking you for your favourable considerations, please accept the assurances of our highest regards.’’

The earlier unanimity of Edo Senators flowed from oppositions also expressed by Senators from some other states controlled by governors who do not belong to the PDP.

“PDP senators from Edo, Imo, Abia and Ondo States, had earlier clubbed together to sharpen forces against nominees reportedly presented by their governors to President Umaru Yar‘Adua for nomination to the NDDC board.


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