…Say it’s breach of commission’s act

Festus Ahon

Activists in Niger Delta under the aegis of Niger Delta Integrity Group,  NDIG, yesterday, said the preservation of a sole administrator or an interim administration in the management of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, is not only a breach of the commission’s Act 2000 but an affront on the long-deprived people of the region

The group lamented that the people of the region have had to endure three years of the foremost agency being arbitrarily run in breach of the law in utter disregard of their need and the region’s development.

The group in a statement by its President, Akpoebide Okotiene, and Secretary, Edet Ekpenyong, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to inaugurate the substantive board already screened and confirmed by the Senate for the NDDC.

The statement read in part: “Our attention has been drawn to reports in the national media that President Muhammadu Buhari has again announced that the board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) will soon be inaugurated.

“President Buhari has, therefore, restated his commitment to end the ongoing illegal sole administratorship at the NDDC and inaugurate the Board of the Commission in compliance with the law.

“He had earlier made a commitment to the nation on June 24, 2021 when he received the leadership of Ijaw National Congress (INC) in Aso Rock, Abuja.

“The President said: ‘Based on the mismanagement that had previously bedeviled the NDDC, a forensic audit was set up and the result is expected by the end of July, 2021. I want to assure you that as soon as the forensic audit report is submitted and accepted, the NDDC Board will be inaugurated.’

“The Forensic audit report has been submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari since 11 months ago, on September 2, 2021. Regrettably, the NDDC, which is the foremost Niger Delta regional development agency and which was set up to right the wrongs in the Niger Delta is still being run by a sole administrator appointed in breach of the NDDC Act.

“We, therefore, urge President Buhari to inaugurate the board and management of the commission, in compliance with the law to ensure that the nine constituent states of the region will have fair and equitable representation in the commission in line with the Act of the National Assembly 2000, which brought the interventionist agency into existence and made it mandatory for the President to appoint a board and management for the Commission, subject to confirmation by the Senate.

“We also wish to remind President Buhari, the Federal Government, and indeed the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) that the continued administration of the NDDC by a 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.”

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