NDDC: Group Faults Claim against Akeredolu’s Nominee on NDDC Board
Fidelis David in Akure
A group, Ilaje Unity Forum (IUF), has taken a swipe at the former representative of Ondo State on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Benson Enikuomehin, over his claim that nominees from the state are not from oil producing community.
The group claimed that Enikuomehin, by virtue of his exposure should have been aware that Hon. Gbenga Edema, who is the immediate past Chairman of the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) is not only qualified but also from an oil producing community.
While reacting to the interview granted by Enikuomehin on a national television, the group in a statement signed by its Chairman, Stephen Jatuwase and Secretary, Olabanji Orogbemi, which was made available to newsmen in Akure yesterday, described the claims by Enikuomehin as unfounded and spurious.
The group maintained that Edema, who hails from Ogogoro, an oil-producing community in Ilaje Local Government Area of the state, is eminently qualified by all ramifications to be the next Managing Director(MD) of the commission.
While insisting that it is the turn of Ondo State to produce the MD of NDDC, Jatuwase stressed that Enikuomehin flagrantly exhibited and exposed his ignorance on happenings within his local government.
The group emphasised that the issue on the eligibility of Edema to serve in agencies overseeing oil producing communities had been adequately and sufficiently settled following a suit at the Ondo State High Court in 2017, adding that Edema presided over OSOPADEC from 2017 to 2021 with distinction and without a stain.
Emphasising that in accordance with Section 12 (1) of the NDDC act, the President nominated Edema and had since been screened and confirmed by the senate for the NDDC job, the group reiterated its appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to inaugurate the NDDC board without further delay in order to kick start its assignment, which is the total development of the Niger Delta region.
The group said: “We watch the interview of Benson Enikuomehin on Galaxy Television and we were dismay at the level of ignorance displayed in his attempt of shying away from the truth. For a lawyer to have exhibited such level of ignorance despite existing court ruling shows that he has totally lost touch with facts on ground.
“Being a lawyer that he claimed, Enikuomehin ought to be aware that the issue of Edema not being from the oil producing area of Ondo State had been laid to rest as far back in 2017 in Suit No HOK/27/2017. Otunba Erejuwa Adesina & 6 Ors. v. Governor of Ondo State & 2 Ors. In line with Section 12 (1) of the NDDC Act, the President nominated Hon Gbenga Edema and had also been screened and confirmed by the Nigerian senate as member of the yet to be inaugurated board the NDDC since the year 2019.
“For Enikuomehin to arrogantly spew that if anyone must represent Ondo State in the commission, the person must be an indigene of Ugbo is utmost appalling. We salute our indefatigable Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for nominating Hon Gbenga Edema as well as his belief in the spirit of justice, fairness and equity by echoing that it is the turn of Ondo State to produce the MD.”