Don’t Dissolve NDDC Board, Niger Delta Youths Urge Buhari

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Sunday Okobi

Niger Delta youths under the auspices of Youth Initiative for Education, Development and Empowerment of Niger Delta (YIEDEND) on Saturday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore calls to dissolve the board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The group also accused a former governor of Bayelsa State and an ex-member of the National Assembly as being responsible for such calls.

President of YIEDEND, Agbonkpolor Splendour, while briefing journalists in Abuja, said the argument being used to justify the pressure to dissolve the board was capable of disturbing the relative peace in the region.

According to Splendour, ‘’This has become pertinent in the face of deliberate moves by the Minister of State for Agriculture, Hon Heineken Lokpobiri and former Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Timipre Sylvia.

“It is reprehensible that they would continue to insist that the tenure of the present NDDC board should expire this December on the basis of their claim that the said board was appointed to complete the tenure of the board it succeeded.

“Let us make the point and strongly too that that argument is a wasteful attempt to unilaterally rewrite the enabling law that set up the commission. Even the section 5, sub-section 3 which they are relying on is irrelevant as it clearly applies to situations in which there is a substantive board in place and a vacancy or indeed a number of vacancies happen to occur therein. However, nowhere in this or any other section of the act is there even the slightest indication that such tenure completion is envisaged for the entire board or even that a new board might complete the tenure of a sacked on.

“If the duo were loyal party members and altruistic, they should have realised that the present NDDC board did not meet any board members on ground, rather the one they succeeded was set up by the former administration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government and was appropriately dissolved when the All Progressives Congress (APC) took over. So for any individual or group of individuals out of desperation to continue to stoke the embers of conflict and pandering falsehood over the tenure of the present board of the NDDC is unhelpful and begs the question on the real issues of development in the region.’’

The group, while commending the president for his commitment to achieve peace in the Niger Delta region, therefore, begged him to allow the sustained peace to reign in the region by ignoring the calls to dissolve the commission board.

  • Jacqueline

    Nobody is dissolving the board of NDDC. The tenure of the NDDC board naturally ends December, 2017 based on the STATE ROTATION POLICY of the NDDC ACT 2000 which had been in place since inception. The position of the Chairman is rotated amongst member states ALPHABETICALLY (Part 1, Section). Cross River started its turn of Chairman position in 2014 to
    end 2017. Cross River cannot produce Chairman position for 7 years but only 4years. The positions of MD, ED Projects, and ED Finance also has a rotation policy. Part 4, Section 1 of the NDDC ACT states that the “office of the MD, and two Executive Directors will ROTATE amongst member states in the order of production”. Akwa Ibom State started its MD position in 2014 to end 2017; Delta State started its ED Projects position in 2014 to end 2017; and Rivers State started its ED Finance position in 2014 to end 2017. The constitution of the NDDC Board is not about persons, but about states. The LEGAL board of NDDC beginning January 2018 to 2021 will have Delta State occupying the position of CHAIRMAN; Bayelsa State occupying the position of MD; Rivers State occupying the position of ED Projecst; and Akwa Ibom State occupying the position of ED Finance. Cross Rivers State does not have oil anymore, and is being accommodated in the spirit of brotherhood in the NDDC presently, as the commission is meant for oil producing states. If the office of the SGF loves the present board members so much, no problems……just fix them in their proper board positions to reflect the state rotations and all will be well. If the SGF’s office insists that the board as it is presently constituted will serve till 2020, it is illegally giving the present states 7years in their present positions instead of 4years. That can only bring restiveness and BIG WAHALA to the region that has been quite all this while. I do not think Nigeria needs such distractions at this time. Those who collected money to set confusion should quietly vomit the money back, or face consequences. Nothing is hidden under the sun…….a word is enough for the wise.