–HRM King Okpoitari Diongoli (Opuokuna iv) Ibedaowei Of Ancient Opokuma Kingdom
The traditional ruler of ancient Opokuma Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, King Okpoitari Diongoli has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari not to allow the people of Bayelsa State, whose turn it is to produce the next Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) be outmaneuvered.
The traditional ruler, who sent Palace Watch a copy of the open letter he wrote to the president and followed up with a call, said: “In line with equality, justice and fairness, the commission’s current board should be dissolved for an all-new set of management team to take over. If he decides to keep quiet with the way things are now, most people might think he is part of the conspiracy to deny Bayelsa State the right to head NDDC’s management team.
“As a senior citizen and a critical stakeholder in the Bayelsa Project, as well as a monarch, I am under obligation to voice my concern over the ongoing dialogue.“I do so with the highest sense of responsibility and mindful that I am exercising my fundamental right to speak. After I have critically examined the subject, it invoked a spirit of sadness and disillusionment because I am yet to come to terms with why persons who represent vital institutions, including the Central Zone of the Ijaw Youth Council individually or collectively would rather speak in favour of tenure elongation of the present NDDC’s board and management to the detriment of Bayelsa State.
“It is very obvious that those who hold such a preposterous and anti-Bayelsa position are not only self-serving, but have painfully betrayed the people’s collective aspirations on whose mandate they occupy various positions.“Mr. President, Sir, it is, therefore, my humble advice that you be mindful of such persons, because it is a ploy to make your government unpopular and portray you as a leader, who is against the Ijaws, a stance I know is factually untrue.”
He continued: “The issue of the NDDC’s Board and Management tenure elongation is a creation of an act of parliament and, therefore, should not be exposed to the whims and caprices of a group or individuals or even a state for whatever reasons for their selfish interpretation. The troubling and infantile call for the tenure elongation is not a true reflection of the collective wish of the people of Bayelsa State and should, therefore, be discountenanced.
“I align myself with the position of Senator Emmanuel Paulker, Akio Briggs and other people of goodwill, who have resolutely championed the dissolution of the present board and the appointment of new members. This position is consistent with the spirit and letter of the Act establishing the NDDC as amended.
“Bayelsa State is blessed with a huge reservoir of human resource across all spectrum of human endeavours to tap from. Shortchanging her citizens’ inalienable rights guaranteed by the provisions of the Act by saying that Bayelsa State is not interested in the position of Managing Director of NDDC is to stand logic on its head and a crass display of lack of understanding, naivety and insensitivity to the yearning and aspirations of the people.
“Those in support of the tenure elongation are self-serving and are not speaking on behalf of the majority of the masses, who were never consulted before they opposed the dissolution, since they know the next Managing Director by the NDDC Act should come from Bayelsa State.” He, therefore, appealed to the president to ignore such self-centered and egotistic clamour and go ahead to appoint new board members, including an MD from Bayelsa State based on competence and requisite qualification.“The call for the appointment of NDDC MD from Bayelsa State is a call for reasoning and good conscience over parochial considerations,” he explained.