A group, Ijaw Nation Professionals in the Diaspora, (INPD), has lent its voice to commend President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing Dr. Pius Odubu from Edo State and Mr. Bernard Okumagba from Delta state as Chairman and Managing Director, respectively, of the newly constituted Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)
The professional group, whose members come from Bayelsa, Delta, and Ondo states, also pleaded with the President to expeditiously forward the names of the 16-member Board to the Senate for approval, to enable them to quickly commence the urgently needed reforms of the NDDC to meet the aspirations of the people of Niger Delta.
In a statement jointly signed by its President, Johnson Ebibai and Secretary General, Mr. Temisan Ogunjimi, the group commended the President for the due consideration that was given to the nine constituent states in choosing the membership of the Board.
According to INPD, “we take special note of the calibre and pedigree of the members nominated to the nineteen year old Commission, especially the Chairman and Managing Director who are accomplished professionals in both the public and private sectors whose careers cumulatively span over fifty years of exemplary service to the nation.”
The group, however took exception to the diversionary tactics and unfounded comments by some groups, which they stated what they called spurious claim that it was the turn of Ondo state to produce the next Managing Director of NDDC.
According to Ijaw Nation Professionals in the Diaspora, Act No.6 of 2000 establishing NDDC did not state that the appointment of the Managing Director of NDDC would be rotational, saying that the rotational clause applies only to the office of the Chairman.
According to them, the President, in consultation with relevant stakeholders was at liberty to choose a managing director from any of the nine constituent states with priority to the four highest oil-producing states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers States.
INPD, therefore, believed that, “what should be of utmost importance to all stakeholders from Niger Delta is the urgent composition of the new Board to enable them to settle down to work and ensure they deliver on the primary goal of NDDC to facilitate the rapid, even and sustainable development of the Niger Delta into a region that is economically prosperous, socially stable, ecologically regenerative and politically peaceful.”