Concerned by the worrisome development with regards to plot to further destabilise the administration of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) through the appointment of another Interim Administrator or acting Managing Director which negates the popular desire of stakeholders for the composition of substantive management board in line with the Act establishing the Commission, coalition of Youths in the Niger Delta region under the aegis of the Niger Delta Accountability Forum (NDAF) hereby calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to save the NDDC from collapse. We call on President Buhari to return the NDDC to the Office the Secretary to the Federal Government which is the administrative desk of all offices under the presidency.
In the light of surreptitious moves to the appoint another Interim Administrator or Sole Administrator in the name of Acting Managing Director for NDDC, it has become expedient to call on President Muhhamadu Buhari to, without further delay, return the NDDC to the Office of the Secretary to the Federal Government pending the composition of substantive management team as was the case prior to August 22, 2019 directive mandating the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio to exercise supervisory roles in NDDC.
The Coalition of Niger Delta youth under the platform of NDAF regrets that the supervisory role granted the former minister of Niger Delta Affairs understandably for the purposes of coordinating the Forensic Audit ordered by President Buhari is being exploited to arbitrarily annex the administration of the NDDC as well as for subtle and overt perpetuation of interim regime in the Commission.
More importantly, NDAF is calling on President Buhari to exercise his statutory duty under Section 2 (2) (a) of the NDDC Act by constituting a Governing Board for the Commission in line with Section 2 of the NDDC (Establishment) Act No 6 of 2000, to wit: “There is hereby established for the Commission a governing Board (the Board) which shall consist of a Chairman with representatives of the 9 Niger Delta States, the Federal Ministries of Finance & Environment, Oil Companies representative, a Managing Director and 2 Executive Directors who must be appointees of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
While well-meaning stakeholders in the Niger Delta region patiently wait on Mr. President to constitute the governing board, Youth of the Niger Delta should not be taken for granted by those plotting to appoint another Interim Administrator or acting MD. Such attempt to further negate the composition of substantive management team for the NDDC will be deemed highly undemocratic, retrogressive and therefore resisted. As already alerted by other stakeholders that some selfish interest of the region are planning to orchestrate the appointment of another Interim Administrator or acting MD in order to serve their inordinate ambition, we hereby reiterate that such move will undermine the good effort of the President in stabilizing the region.
We therefore call on the President to accede to advice of notable stakeholders in the Niger Delta region and shun the antics of those mooting such selfish agenda before the region is thrown into unnecessary crisis.
NDAF condemns undue interference of the present Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Umana Okon Umana in the activities of the NDDC. It is indeed a matter of concern that the absence of substantive administrative leadership in the NDDC is being exploited by influential individual to perpetrate arbitrariness in the payment for contracts.
We therefore call on President Muhammadu Buhari to put an end to the ongoing impunity in NDDC by returning the supervision of the agency to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation as NDDC was better managed under the Office of the SGF with no interference.
NDAF wishes to reiterate the calls by concerned stakeholders including eminent leaders of thoughts and patriots of the Niger Delta region led by Pa Edwin Clark, civil society organizations for substantive management team to forestall the perpetuation of arbitrariness and breakdown of law and order in the region.
NDAF therefore wishes to call on the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), the Chief of Staff to the President, the Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF), the President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, as well as the respective Committees of the Niger Delta in the House of Representatives and the Senate to urgently intervene and save the NDDC from the inordinate ambition of a few privilege individuals who prefer reign of arbitrariness to the triumph of rule of law in NDDC
Comrade Omatseye Dan-Jack
Niger Delta Accountability Forum (NDAF)