By OSA Okhomina,Yenagoa
Angry Ijaw Youths from the Nine States of the Niger Delta region have kciked against the alleged plan by the Federal Government to violate the Act establishing the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) with the plot to re+appoint the Managing Director and Board of the Commission.
According to the Ijaw Youths, the decision to violate the NDDC Act and re-appoint the duo is a deliberate attempt to exclude Bayelsa and Delta in the existing rotation on the appointment of Managing Director and the Chairman of the Board of the NDDC.
The Ijaw Youths under the umbrella of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) led by the President, Eric Omare, at a media briefing in Warri,Delta State, described the alleged plot as “satanic” and unacceptable.
The IYC,in the statement issued, stated that “the foreomost Ijaw Youths Council alleged plot by the presidency to reappoint the current Chairman and Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), to serve another four years tenure contrary to the principles of rotation enshrined in the Act establishing the commission.”
The IYC alleged that the plan was mooted by Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami who had forwarded a legal memo to President Muhammadu Buhari to reappoint current NDDC board chairman, Sen. Victor Egba-Udoma and the MD, Nsima Ekere in violation of the provisions of the Act establishing the Commission 17 years ago.
Comrade Eric Omare, a lawyer, alleged that the All Progressive Congress APC-led federal government has perfected plans to announce the reappointment of the duos whereas it was the turn of Delta and Bayelsa states to produce chairman and Managing Director of the commission respectively..
Omare stated that the appointment is not acceptable to the Ijaws particularly Deltans and Bayelsans, reiterated, “We will use all necessary means to resist the attempt by Malami.”
Omare said that Ijaw youths does not have any issue with the people of Cross Rivers State or Akwa-Ibom but for the interest of fairness and justice in line with the express provisions of the NDDC Act cum its rotational and zoning patterns in the next four years, it is the turn of a deltan to be Chairman of the NDDC Board while the Managing Director positions goes to Bayelsa State.
“There was history, when NDDC was established in 2000. Godwin Omene from Delta was the MD, along the way he had issue and Emmanuel Agwariavwodo completed Omene’s tenure. He did not start a new term. Why the legal opinion that the tenure of the outgoing NDDC should be extended for another four years?.
“This is totally unacceptable to the youths of the Niger Delta region and we will resist it with our last blood because the establishment of NDDC was laid by blood of Ijaw youths,nay Niger Delta youths who died in the struggle.. We are ready to use our blood to protect the sanctity of the NDDC Act.
“So we won’t allow any APC cabal to change the precedent established in the appointment of chairman and MD for NDDC.
“We do not have issue with the Cross Rivers and Akwa-Ibom states indigenes that are occupying these offices but you don’t rob Peter to pay Paul.
“It is the turn of Delta to produce the chairman of NDDC, while Bayelsa produce the MD by production quantum. It amount to robbing Peter to pay Paul for Akwa-Ibom to produce MD for next four years.
He said that it was corruption for Malami to advice Buhari to reappoint Udoma-Egba to complete the tenure of Senator Bassey, saying that the cabal in the presidency were only taking advantage of Buhari who is adjudged as an upright man to carry out the ugly scheme.
“It is unacceptable for Buhari to reappoint them for a tenure of four years. They are only taking advantage of Buhari whom we know is an upright man. It is against the spirit of rotation for Malami to send that memo advising Buhari to reappoint the duos.
He, however, called on President Buhari to immediately rescind the decision and start the process of approving the appointment of a new board of NDDC.
Omare said that under the NDDC Act, Buhari can reappoint states representative but can’t reappoint the chairman and MD for tenure of four years because it would be unfair to other oil producing states.