By Chioma Onuegbu – Uyo
The people of Eastern Obolo local government area of Akwa Ibom State has lamented the alleged marginalisation of the area in allocation of resources and appointments by the state government and the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
The President of Oru Obolo, Mr. Ken Ukoima in a protest letter to President Muhammadu Buhari made available to newsmen yesterday in Uyo, noted that no indigene of Eastern Obolo had served on the Board of the NDDC since its creation, despite the status of the area as the largest oil-producing area in Akwa Ibom State.
Ukoima pointed out that the Act establishing the commission clearly stipulates that the Board shall consist of, among others, a Chairman and one person who shall be an indigene of an oil-producing area to represent each of the member states.
He, therefore, appealed to President Buhari to use his good office to redress the oppression and neglect of the area, stressing that the people would be grateful if given the opportunity to serve on the board of NDDC especially now that Akwa Ibom still has a chance to produce a director.
“His words, “Your Excellency since the establishment of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), no indigene of Eastern Obolo has been appointed to serve on the board of the commission, yet Eastern Obolo is the largest oil-producing area in the state.
Akwa Ibom State presently accounts for about 40per cent of Nigeria’s 2.2million bpd of oil production.
” Eastern Obolo accounts for about 55per cent of total oil production from Akwa Ibom State in addition to 26m Standard cubic foot (scf) of gas daily. There are over 57 oil wells scattered within Eastern Obolo territory in onshore and offshore oil facilities.
“The neglect and oppression of Eastern Obolo is not only in denial of appointments in the state but also in the allocation of the resources and projects within the state by the NDDC and the state government as well.
“As the largest oil-producing state, Akwa Ibom has served as Chairman, Managing Director, in addition to four executive directors at different point in time in the commission. Akwa Ibom State’s tenure as Chairman on the board was served by an indigene of Nsit Ubium LGA, Amb. Sam Edem.
“Also, Bassey Dan-Abia from Esit Eket LGA served both as Acting Chairman and later Managing Director, though the tenure was truncated, and then Obong Nsima Ekere from Ikot Abasi LGA, the immediate past Managing Director of the commission. It is also on record that some of illustrious sons of Eastern Obolo made efforts and were assured of positions in the NDDC only to be denied at the nick of time”
Ukoima added that the state has also produced four executive directors of projects in the NDDC namely Udo Mboso from Onna LGA, while the trio of Isreal Ukott, Arc. I. Etteh and Edikan Eshiet hail from Ibeno local government area.
He equally pointed out that six indigenes of Akwa Ibom have also served at different times as State Representatives on the board of the commission namely late Udo Akpan from Ikot Abasi, and the trio of Moffat Philip and Bassey Dan Abia, Imaobong Inyang from Esit Eket LGA and Etim Inyang from Mbo local government area.
“Mr. President, your administration is riding high on the goodwill of the Almighty God and the Nigerian people because you are elected to correct the ills of the past. The change mantra of your government is not a facade as there are tangible evidence.
“We shall forever be grateful if your wind of change will blow into Akwa Ibom State and overturn the machinations and give Eastern Obolo the opportunity to serve on the board of the NDDC now as Akwa Ibom still have a chance to produce a director”, he stressed