By Perez Brisibe
THE Niger Delta Peoples Assembly, NDPA, a pressure group in the Niger Delta region, has warned that any attempt to shortchange Delta State from producing the next Managing Director on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, will likely threaten the fragile peace being experienced in the region.
The assembly stated this yesterday while reacting to a publication in a national daily which it described as not only a false claim, but a script being acted by the author in partnership with some individuals within the commission who are trying to sell a false narrative in justifying their agenda to remain in office.
Convener of the assembly, Comrade Seiyefa Opuowei in the statement, while expressing worries over a campaign to replace the Managing Director on the commission’s board, explained that it is incontrovertible that Delta State is entitled to the positions of chairman and managing director of the commission.
According to him, it was the prerogative of leaders from Delta State to choose whichever of the two they wanted and this is what the stakeholders did in choosing the position of managing director since both may not be allowed because of governance issues.
He said: “Having chosen to take the position of managing director, this was communicated to the presidency on which basis a Delta State nominee was presented for the position.
“Following from Delta State’s preference for the MD position, the chairmanship was ceded and Edo State, being the next in line and subsequently asked to nominate someone for the position.
“This was the settled position that produced the current board members, which the Mr. President presented to the Senate and who were subsequently confirmed. Everything was done in accordance with law, equity, and due process in line with the principles of good governance.”
Speaking further, he said: “The NDDC Act states clearly that the MD position was to commence with the state with the highest production then, as at 2001, which was Delta State, and rotate subsequently. This is why Delta State produced the first MD in the person of Engr Godwin Omene. That rotation came full circle with the position going from Delta to Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom State in the last four substantive boards.
“The Niger Delta region has undergone too many ethnic and interstate conflicts and we do not need another on our hands because of the inordinate ambitions of social climbers in the corridors of power who show no regard for law and due process.
“We will not sit by and allow anyone usurp the legal and logical order. We urge President Buhari to inaugurate the new NDDC board without further delay to stem these latter-day revisionists of facts and due process.”