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November 27, 2022

NDDC: Stop marginalization of Itsekiri Nation, INYC tells Buhari

The Itsekiri National Youths Council (INYC) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to put an end to the unabated serial marginalization of the Itsekiri Nation over
the composition of the Niger Delta Development Commission Board (NDDC), saying that Itsekiri nation is responsible for Delta State’s huge economic contribution to the Nation.

This was disclosed in a statement signed and made available to Sunday Vanguard by INYC President, Isaac Oritseweyinmi Agbateyiniro, and Secretary-General, Appearance Afejuku, on Saturday in Warri, Delta State.

The statement read,” An ethnic group can’t boast of these ennobling credentials and yet still being overlooked during nomination or appointment to serve on the board of a critical agency such as the NDDC. This has been our agitation in recent appointments in the NDDC.

“Besides the position of Commissionership which other ethnic nationalities have also enjoyed severally and the abridged tenure (18 months) of Engr. Tuoyo Omatsuli, former Executive Director Projects, the Itsekiris have not been allowed to enjoy a full tenure as a major oil and gas producer in Nigeria.

“It is very correct to state that there will be no NDDC without the Statutory remittances from IOCs operating at the various oil and gas producing areas in the Niger Delta region. It will therefore be only appropriate to reason that those who bear the highest burden of the economic sustainability of the nation must be given preferential consideration/treatment on issues of appointment into the NDDC board and that is what the law establishing the NDDC accommodated.

“To do otherwise by always imposing or promoting the interest of those who produce little or nothing at all over the interest of those who carry such magnitude of burden for the economic sustainability of the nation is not only an infraction/ infringement on the law establishing the NNDC but also an invitation to anarchy and a sure recipe for unwarranted crisis.

“In our despair, we can’t help but wonder if our present marginalization was what our forbears foresaw when as ethnic minorities they expressed their fears of ethnic domination, subjugation, and suffocation by larger ethnic nationalities in the Nigerian Federation before independence. Concern led to the Willink’s Commission of Inquiry into the minority fears in 1958 and recommended special protection for minorities, as contained in the Mid-Western Constitution of 1964.

“Expectedly, with all the ministerial and other appointments into various MDAs that President Buhari has done since the inception of this administration, the Itsekrii nation has not protested despite being shortchanged because all of such appointments reside in the prerogative or discretional power of the office of the president but on this present marginalization of the Itsekiri nationality in the nomination of the NDDC that is stipulated by the NDDC Act itself, we shall surely resist it.

“We make bold to state at this juncture that given our humongous contribution to the economic survival of Nigeria, and given the fact that we have been treated with disdain, disrespect and deprived of our due rights as stipulated in the Constitution and even the NDDC Act, the non-recognition and/or deliberate exclusion of the Itsekiri Ethnic Nationality from the position of Chairman or Managing Director will be resisted with all the legitimate fiber in our veins.