NDDC Board: Group Urges Senate to Reject Buhari’s Request

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Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba

The Senate has been called upon to reject a request from President Muhammadu Buhari asking it to approve an interim management committee for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and to jettison the NDDC Board confirmed by the Senate.

A statement signed by the National President, Vanguard for Transparent Leadership and Democracy (VATLAD), Comrade Igbini Odafe Emmanuel, likened the request by President Buhari to the botched controversial “Third Term” bid by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, which was rejected by the Senate in 2006, saying the national legislative body should reject Mr President’s request in the spirit of patriotism as it is clearly unconstitutional.

While reiterating its convinction that Buhari personally means well for the oil-rich Niger Delta region, the group observed that the president was apparently being misadvised by some self-seeking persons who are motivated simply by greed rather than the overall interest of the people of the region.

The group warned that the presidential request on the NDDC interim management committee, if approved, would plunge the Niger Delta and Nigeria into another round of crisis at a time the federal government and the nation should be consolidating on recent security gains, especially the prevailing atmosphere of relative peace and increased activities in the oil and gas sector in the area.

The statement reads in part: “Our attention has been drawn to a request by President Muhammadu Buhari for the Senate’s Approval for the Interim Management Committee (IMC) for NDDC and rejection of NDDC Board confirmed by the Senate.”

“Having carefully analysed this request in light of the majority views of the affected people of the Oil Producing States of the Core Niger Delta region, we patriotically demand that our distinguished Senate must rise up now in the true spirit of patriotism as it did in 2006 against former President Obasanjo’s 3rd Term Agenda, by rejecting this new request by His Excellency, President Buhari, to seek Senate’s approval for Interim Management Committee of NDDC and rejection of NDDC Board (members) screened and confirmed by the senate.

“This request, like OBJ’s (Obasanjo’s) 3rd Term, must be rejected in its entirety in order to save our dear country from further crisis that, if allowed, would worsen current national insecurity and threaten existing peace and unity.”

It further noted that though “we are convinced that President Buhari means well for the peace and development of Niger Delta Region but sadly, some very few unpatriotic Nigerians who are privileged to have access to him are deliberately misleading him to act against the constitutional decision taken by the 9th Senate to screen and confirm his nominees for the Governing Board of NDDC. These persons are misleading President Buhari in order to severe the smooth relationship existing between him and the Senate.”

It argued that the “few unpatriotic Nigerians” allegedly misleading Buhari care less about the Mr President or about the peace, unity and progress of Nigeria but seem to care more about their personal gains from exploiting crisis situations in the country.

“These are the same people who misled late Gen. Sani Abacha, only to turn around to condemn and betray him after his death. These are the same people who misled Gen. Ibrahim Babangida to annul the June 12, 1993 everything, only to turn around to condemn and deny him. These are the same people who misled President Obasanjo to pursue 3rd term only to turn around to condemn and deny him,” it said.

The statement by VATLAD also said that “These are the same people who misled President Jonathan not to implement some positive outcomes of National Conference and some decisions of the National Assembly”, adding, “Interim Management Committee for NDDC is totally against the spirit and or letters of NDDC Act” as enshrined in NDDC Act of 2000.