THE Benin National Congress, BNC, a socio-cultural organization in Edo State, has written to President Muhammadu Buhari appealing that the position of the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) be ceded to Edo State.
In a letter signed by Comrade Amadin Idaehor-Chief Mobilization Officer.
Comrade Osahon Okoro-Obaraye-Deputy Mobilization Officer, Benin National Congress (BNC, the group alleged that Edo state had suffered marginalization in terms of appointment of officers into the NDDC since its inception, arguing that as the 5th largest oil and gas producing state in the Niger Delta, it deserves the position of the MD of the commission.
According to the letter addressed to President Buhari, “As stakeholders of the NDDC from Edo State, we posit that, in the spirit of brotherhood, harmony and unity in the drive for evenness both in the deployment of the NDDC funds for infrastructure and social amenities development and in the administrative architecture of the Commission, the time has come for member States to consider Edo State for the position of Managing Director of the Commission.
“Since the provision for the appointment of chairman cannot be tinkered with unless through the process of amendment, we hereby appeal to the conscience of relevant stakeholders to allow the rotation clause in the appointment of managing director to favourably apply to Edo State.
“We put out this position in the hope that reason will prevail. We believe in stakeholders’ highest consideration at this time in the glorious history of the NDDC. Posterity will be proud of our generation if we provide an enviable exemplar on how to manage the affairs of our region’s Commission.
“For the record, we present a tabular representation of NDDC governing boards from inception to date in this open letter for clear understanding and or appreciation by the Nigerian public. We have painstakingly looked at the appointments so far made vis-à-vis the statutory provisions and we have discovered that while appointments into the chairmanship position of the NDDC governing boards have, over the years, been made in line with Section 4 of the NDDC Act, appointments into the position of Managing Director have been systematically rotated among some member States to the deliberate exclusion of others contrary to the provisions of Section 12 (1).
“Section 4 reads: “The office of the Chairman shall rotate amongst the member States of the Commission in the following alphabetical order: (a) Abia State; (b) Akwa-Ibom State; (c) Bayelsa State; (d) Cross- River State; (e) Delta State; (f) Edo State; (g) Imo State; (h) Ondo State; and (i) Rivers State. Section 12 (1) specifically reads: “There shall be for the Commission, a Managing Director, and two Executive Directors who shall be indigenes of oil-producing areas starting with the member States of the Commission with the highest production quantum of oil and shall rotate amongst member states in the order of production.”
“In appointing successive chairmen of the NDDC governing boards in line with the provisions of Section 4 of the Act, the following had taken up their slots: Abia (Onyema Ugochukwu: 2001-2005); Akwa-Ibom (Sam Edem: 2005-2007), (Dan Abia: 2007-2009); Bayelsa (Larry Koinyan: 2009-2011), (Tarila Tebepah: 2011-2013); Cross River (Bassey Henshaw Ewa: 2013-2015) (Victor Ndoma-Egba: 2016-till date). However, while the provisions of Section 4 are quite certain and easily verifiable and ascertainable, the provisions of Section 12 (1) specifying that the appointment as managing director will start with member States with the highest production quantum of oil renders the decision tentative and unpredictably dynamic”.