By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South
ASABA— A group of All Progressives Congress, APC, members in Niger Delta, has lamented that prospects of the party in the upcoming 2023 general elections in Niger Delta were getting worse with the APC-led Federal Government groundlessly rebuffing pleas to lay off Interim Management and Sole Administrator contrivances imposed on the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, against its establishing law.
The party faithful under the auspices of Committed Members of APC from the Niger-Delta in a statement by Ebibomo Akpoebide and two others, yesterday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari and national leadership of the party to act quickly and save the party from such a “national embarrassment.”
They said: “The delay in inaugurating the NDDC Board is diminishing the chances of our party, the APC in our region due to our government’s foisting of interim management and sole administrator contraptions in our region’s foremost agency, NDDC, in violation of the law, for three years now, thereby denying the nine constituent states opportunity for fair and equitable representation on the commission’s board.
“Sadly, for a government that prides itself for adherence to rule of law, this administration conversely continues to administer NDDC in flagrant violation of the NDDC Act.
“As a commission established in 2000 by an Act of Parliament, the ongoing national embarrassment at NDDC should be of grave concern to President Buhari and the ruling APC, about our diminishing chances of making any impact in the Niger Delta region in the upcoming 2023 general elections and thereby should persuade the President and the APC leadership to put an end to the illegality of further administering NDDC with a Sole Administrator that is not known to the law setting-up the commission.
“We earnestly urge President Buhari and the leadership of our great party, the APC, to act now, end the ongoing illegality of sole administratorship in NDDC and inaugurate the substantive board of the commission in compliance with the law, the NDDC Act.
“In effect, the nine NDDC states of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo, and Rivers, which by law ought to have representation on the board, have been deprived of their statutory representation due to the failure/delay of the Federal Government to inaugurate the board of the Commission, in contravention of the NDDC Act.
“The continued administration of the NDDC by Interim management committees / sole administrator is illegal because the NDDC Act has no provision for this illegality as the NDDC Act only provides that the Board and management of the NDDC at any point in time should follow the provisions of the law which states that the Board and management is to be appointed by the President, subject to confirmation by the Senate.
“Nobody is supposed to begin to administer the NDDC and utilise the huge funds accruing to it on a monthly basis without passing through this legal requirement as stipulated in the NDDC Act.
“The constituent states have been deprived of opportunity of having their representatives, who sitting on NDDC Board, are supposed to ensure that the budget of the NDDC is run in the way that what is due to each state gets to them. This blatant illegal act of the Federal Government has been de-marketing APC in the region.”