November 28, 2022

NDDC: FG gets 14 days ultimatum to replace Onochie with Okumagba


By Jimitota Onoyume

Warri: Ex militants in Niger Delta have rejected the appointment of Lauretta Onochie as Chairman Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, handing the federal government a fourteen day ultimatum to replace her with Bernard Okumagba.

Handing down the ultimatum in a statement to the Vanguard in Warri, Delta state, Ex Agitator Gen Peter Aghogho who is also president Urhobo Youth Council, UYC, said the NDDC Act is very clear that the Chairman of the commission must be from an oil producing area.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari violated the Act with the appointment of Onochie, who is from Aniocha north, a non oil producing area in Delta state.

The ex militants recalled that in 2019 the national assembly had screened Chief Emmanuel Okumagba for the position of the Managing Director of the commission, adding that it was strange that President Buhari would send a fresh list to the senate again.

“It is strange and surprising that another letter was sent from the same President Muhammadu Buhari to the Nigerian Senate which was read at plenary on November 23, 2022, three years after by the same Senate which had earlier confirmed a substantive board that was put on standby.

“This is highly unacceptable in a democratic system of government. If the Nigerian Senate can overturn itself by considering without any reasonable cause, a fresh set of nominees for appointment to the Board of the NDDC, then the Nigerian democratic system is no longer safe.

“We are giving President Muhamadu Buhari 14 days ultimatum to reverse the said appointment and appoint Bernard Okumagba as the chairman amongst others who are from the core oil and gas producing communities of the Niger Delta region they affirmed

“Lauretta is not even from an oil producing community.

Also a former militant leader, Comrade Ebi Wayas who was a confidential secretary to late John Togo, founder of defunct Niger Delta Liberation Force, NDLF, said he was not sure the new list actually emanated from President Buhari.

“We are not sure that, it is President Buhari that gave this new and strange directive . Chief Benard Okumagba should come as chairman of the board, he is from a core oil and gas producing area of Delta State “

They also called for appointment of a representative for Delta state on the board of the commission.