Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
A coalition of groups in the Niger Delta on Thursday maintained that the tenure of Chief Nsima Ekere as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), had elapsed since November 1.
While quoting from the appointment letter it said it obtained from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), a petition signed by Alali Bokutengo, Miebaka Harrison, Nsan Ebirien and Cordelia Etuk-Udo, leaders of the group, said it was illegal for the MD to continue in office.
Under the auspices of the Eastern Niger Delta Coalition, (ENDC), the group noted that by the appointment letter dated November 1, 2016 with Ref. No: SGF.55/S.2/C.3/IV/52, signed by the sacked former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, Ekere was supposed to serve out the tenure of the last person who occupied the position.
Part of the letter it purportedly obtained read: â€œI am pleased to inform you that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved your appointment as Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), following your confirmation by the Senate on Tuesday October 11 2016 in accordance with Sections 2(2) a and 12 (1) (c) of the NDDC (Establishment) Act 2000.
â€œThe appointment took effect from November 1 2016 and you are to serve out the remainder of the term of office of your predecessor in line with Section 5(2) of the Act. Your emoluments and other conditions of service are as provided under the â€œCertain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders (Salaries and Allowances, etc) (Amendment) Act 2008.â€
The Niger Delta group argued that the document has ended the speculations on the allegations that there were plans by the cabals in the Presidency to elongate his tenure and that of the NDDC Board Chairman.
It said the â€˜so-called extensionâ€™ was not only morally wrong, but does not stand on any legal high ground, noting that a cabal in the presidency was hell-bent on ensuring that the present MD continues in the position.
â€œThe whole exercise is offensive and contrary to the extant/explicit provisions of the relevant sections of the NDDC Act. This fraud should not be allowed to stay a day longer because of the consequences it would bequeath on the region.
â€œThe peaceful co-existence among tribes and ethnic nationalities would be shaken to its foundation and rather replaced by mistrust and mutual suspicion- an invitation to breakdown of law and orderâ€, the group said.