By Emem Idio, Yenagoa
A pan-Niger Delta youth group, NDPA, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari over the proposed reconstitution of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, as advised by the Minster of the Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, noting that it is particularly delighted with the quality and caliber of persons from the region that have been nominated for the job.
In a statement issued in Yenagoa by its National President, Mr. Dakumo Deingiyefa, the group further said that the nomination of Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, a Bayelsan as the Managing Director designate of the NDDC, shows that President Buhari has kept his promise of ensuring sustainable development of the Niger Delta region by appointing a youth to be part of the leadership of the NDDC.
The leadership of the group also expressed gratitude to the leadership of the All Progressive Congress ,APC, in the region for the cooperation and understanding which has sustained the synergy in their working relationship.
While reacting to a publication where a group gave the Minister for State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, a seven day ultimatum to withdraw the nomination of Dr. Samuel Ogbuku as the Magaging Director designate of the NDDC, the group said that such ultimatum can only come from enemies working against the growth of the Niger Delta region.
According to Mr. Deingiyefa, the Niger Delta Oil and Gas-Producing Communities (NDOGPC), through its National Coordinator, Preye Olomu, erroneously and ignorantly claimed that for allegedly pushing for Dr. Ogbuku, a nominee from Bayelsa East Senatorial District to emerge as the MD of the NDDC, Chief Sylva, is marginalizing Bayelsa West Senatorial District.
Meanwhile, the National President of the NDPA, in his counter statement, described the story as not only false but nothing more than a string of poorly crafted lies that should be totally disregarded and discarded.
He said: “To set the records straight, it should be noted that the author of story forgot to realize that the appointment of the NDDC board members is strictly the prerogative of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mohammadu Buhari, and the Minister who is saddled with the responsibility of bringing the needed innovation and development into the oil and gas sector of the country.
“The NDOGPC in its statement, also ignorantly claimed that Sylva as the leader of the APC in Bayelsa had reportedly demonstrated ethnic bias by facilitating federal appointments for people from his senatorial district alone, but available records show that the Bayelsa West Senatorial District has benefitted more than any other Senatorial District under the Buhari led administration.
“Because its soul aim is to paint the reputation of the Minister in bad light, the NDOGPC, forgot to mention that before any APC member from other Senatorial Districts in Bayelsa State got any Federal appointment, Senator Heineken Lokpibiri, an Ijaw son from Bayelsa West, was appointed by President Mohammadu Buhari as Minister for State for Agriculture and Rural Development for four years.
“The phoney group also forgot to tell the world that while Senator Lokpibiri was serving as Minister for State, another Ijaw son from Bayelsa West, Chief Peres Peretu, was given a Federal appointment. And during this period, no Ijaw son from other Senatorial Districts held any Federal appointment higher than that of Senator Lokpibiri but at that time Mr. Olomu saw nothing wrong with this.
“We also wish to remind the faceless group that in 2019, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa, an illustrious son of Bayelsa West was appointed as the acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, and at that time, they didn’t see anything wrong.
“Let it also be stated clearly that when the Joi Nunie led interim administrative board of the NDDC was dissolved and there was need to appoint a new board, it was an Ijaw son from Bayelsa Central Senatorial District, Prof. Kemebradikumi Pondei, that was appointed Managing Director. So, the question now begging for answer is, why is NDOGPC so worried that the nominee for the position of MD is coming from Bayelsa East?”