…calls on Akpabio to conclude consultations on NDDC board
..urges Buhari to constitute new board according to NDDC Act
By Samuel Oyadongha
YENAGOA THE Senator representing Bayelsa West senatorial district, Senator Seriake Dickson has kicked against the call by some stakehokders for the transfer of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to the Presidency.
Instead, he urged stakeholders and some leaders in the Niger Delta who are pushing for such transfer to have rethink in the interest of the region.
The former Bayelsa governor in a statement he personally signed, also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute a new board for the commission according to the NDDC Act.
The statement reads, “I commend President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and the entire NDDC team on the virtual commissioning of the new headquarters of the commission in Port Harcourt a few days ago by Mr President.
“It is a good development which has brought to an end a very shameful episode that the NDDC in past years was unable to complete its own headquarters.
“What is left now is for the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs to consult stakeholders and guide the President correctly in constituting the NDDC board in accordance with the Act as soon as possible
“While the ongoing forensic audit of the NDDC is being finalized, the President can send the names to the Senate for appropriate action. The Niger Delta people need a functional NDDC Board to begin to clear the mess in the commission.
“I call on the President to follow the NDDC Act in the composition of the expected board by which Bayelsa should have the Managing Director.
“I am against the call that the Niger Delta Development Commission be transferred to the Presidency. I advise stakeholders and some leaders in the Niger Delta who are advocating such a move to withdraw as it is not in the best interest of the Niger Delta.
“The Niger Delta does not need such a self inflicted injury. Even if such people have disagreements with, or do not like Senator Akpabio or any current holder of that office, they should not push for an action that is glaringly inimical to the interest of the region.
“The fact is that the office of the Minister will be occupied by someone from the Niger Delta and it will amount to cutting ones nose to spite the face to demand its transfer to the Presidency.
“We should not hesitate to point out errors on the part of those who are superintending over the affairs of the NDDC but it is against Niger Delta interest to move the supervision of the NDDC to any other place other than the ministry of the Niger Delta.
“The Ministry of the Niger Delta Affairs was created for us by a man who meant well for Nigeria and the Niger Delta, the late President Umar Yar’Adua. The establishment of the Ministry and the Amnesty programme are two legacies of President Musa Yaradua that will continue to serve the national interest.
“I call on all stakeholders in the region to work with the Minister and the NDDC board when constituted.”