By Simon Ebegbulem & Gabriel Enogholase
BENINâ€”AS the battle over who produces Edo Stateâ€™s representative on the Board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) between Governor Adams Oshiomhole and Chief Tony Anenih moves to the Senate, a coalition of civil society organizations and Host Oil Communities in the Niger Delta have backed the governorâ€™s nominee for the job, Mr Donald Omorodion.
This comes as Edo State chapter of Niger Delta Youth Assembly also threw its weight behind Governor Adams Oshiomhole and his nominee for the job.
Among the three senators in the state, the nominee received the backing of the Senator representing Edo South, Senator Ehigie Uzamere who is battling it out with Senators Yisa Braimoh and Odion Ugbesia, who belong to Chief Anenih’s camp.
It would be recalled that Uzamere had earlier fought against Jude Ise-Idehen who was earlier nominated by Governor Oshiomhole and defeated the duo of Ugbesia and Braimoh during the presentation of the nominee and Ise-Idehen was dropped by the Senate.
Uzamere later claimed that he objected to the nomination of Ise-Idehen because he was not a member of the PDP.
Vanguard learnt that Uzamere had the upper hand at the Senate due to the fact that Edo South which he represents produces oil in the state, while Ugbesia (Edo Central) and Braimoh (Edo North) have no oil in their areas.
Uzamere, it was learnt, put his political future in the PDP on the line by daring Chief Anenih last Monday when he presented the governorâ€™s nominee, Omorodion, to the Senate Committee on NDDC, headed by Senator James Manager.
He urged the committee to disregard the petition filed against Omorodion by Senators Braimoh and Ugbesia, and as it seems, he had his way since the petitioners were not present to substantiate their allegations against the governorâ€™s nominee.
However, in a letter addressed to the committee, signed by Rev. David Ugolor (Executive Chairman of the Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ),Dr Sam Igbineweka (Host Communities), Comrade Kaduna Eboigbe (Chairman Edo state NLC) and five others, it stated that the nomination of OmorodionÂ received the blessings of all civil society organizations because of their belief that he will give good representation to the state.
â€œWe are aware of the oppositions and views of some senators, Senators Odion Ugbesia and Yisa Braimoh. We recognize their political interest and wish to state that they are not from oil producing areas of the state and, as such, should not be in a position to decide who should represent Edo in the NDDC,â€ the coalition stated.
Meanwhile, Edo State chapter of Niger Delta Youth Assembly has thrown its weight behind Governor Adams Oshiomhole and his nominee as the stateâ€™s representative in Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Daniel Igiede Omorodion.
Vanguard learnt that two of the three Senators from Edo State were against the governorâ€™s nominee and have objected to his clearance by the Senate Committee on NDDC.
The group in a statement in Benin yesterday, signed by its Chairman, Dr. Collins Iyamu, and Comrade Jimmy Omoekele, noted that the NDDC Act of 2000 clearly conferred on the state governor the mandate to nominate the stateâ€™s representative in the commission.
â€œIt is rather embarrassing that a group of people is doing every thing in their power to frustrate the state governmentÂ of the responsibility which the constitutionÂ imposes solely on the governor to be the only person authorized to nominate the NDDC commissioner to the Presidency for onward transmission to the Senate.
â€œThey have, therefore, succeeded in denying the peopleÂ of Edo State infrastructure developments which this office attracts to a state.
â€œIt is rather absurd, callous and unreasonable that even persons from this state are part of this unholy conspiracy to witch_hunt their own state and frustrate efforts to tap from our common wealth in the NDDC,â€ the group lamented.
The group warned that it would resist to the fullest any attempt by any person or group of persons to delay the fortunes of Edo State or denyÂ them of what rightly belongs to them by failing to clear the state nominee to the commission.
It called on senators from the state to put the interest of the people who they represent above primordial interest, as they, the people, remained the ultimate beneficiaries of projects allocated to the state by the NDDC.
The group also appealed to the Senate Committee on NDDC to clear the governorâ€™s nominee, Mr. Daniel Omorodion,Â without any delay, as he was capable of being a worthy representativeÂ of the state on the NDDC Board.