By Davies Iheamnachor – Port Harcourt
The Conscience of Ogoni People, COOP, has urged groups in the Niger Delta that have been in protest over the inauguration of the interim board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, led by Joy Nunieh to allow the board complete the mandate given it by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godspwill Akpabio and President Muhammadu Buhari.
COOP also urged the Nigerian Senate not to allow the 15 committees it screened to take over the management of the NDDC until the forensic audit is completed.
The Coordinator of COOP, Chief Gani Topba, who spoke in Port Harcourt noted that since the inception of NDDC that this was the first time an Ogoni person is taking charge of the commission, urging other ethnic groups in the oil-rich region to support Nunieh
It would be recalled that an interim board headed by the Ogoni born Joy Nunieh had earlier been inaugurated with the mandate to handle the forensic audit process in the commission.
Speaking, Topba said: “It will interest you to know that President Buhari has shown commitment to the people of Ogoni. He has done everything to ensure that Ogoni clean upstarts.
“On the issues of Shell’s licence on OML11, he has refused to renew the licence of Shell to operate in Ogoni. I am urging the people of Ogoni to remain peaceful.
“Again, he has appointed our daughter, Joi Nunieh as the Director of NDDC. Right from the formation of NDDC, we have not got it right, but under Buhari, things are working well.
He noted that it amounts to disrespect on the office of the president for the senate to urge those it has screened to take over office.
“It is a disrespect on the office of the president that the Senate will screen and urge screened nominees to take over the leadership of NDDC.
“I urge all tribe in Niger Delta to support our daughter. We have passed the era of protests. Ogoni needs the support of other groups in Niger Delta.
“I want to appeal that nobody should hide under any guise to stop the efforts of the president to bring those who have done ills in the NDDC. It is unfortunate that the Commonwealth has been given to some group,” he said.