Stakeholders under the auspices of the Watchdog for Progressives Ijaw (WPI), have reminded President Muhammadu Buhari that Bayelsa State is the next in line to produce the Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The WPI, in a statement signed by its Coordinator, Lambert Olambo, urged other states in the region to support Bayelsa in producing the next NDDC boss in the interest of justice, equity and fairness.
Olambo said it would be unacceptable and a breach of the Act establishing NDDC to allow any other state apart from Bayelsa, to occupy the top managerial position of NDDC and called on President Buhari to undertake due diligence on the matter to be properly guided before nominating the next managing director.
He said: “We understand that some states are lobbying for it. Investigations we conducted revealed that Ondo State through its governor had relocated to Abuja to mount pressure on the Presidency to nominate the next managing director of NDDC from Ondo.
“But, the truth is that Ondo is not qualified to occupy that position. Those hanging around President Buhari and collecting money from desperate politicians seeking this juicy appointment are simply cashing out and deceiving people.
“The fact remains that the law establishing the NDDC rotates the chairman of the governing board of the NDDC alphabetically from A-R among the oil producing states, while the managing director rotates among the four states with the highest oil production quota. Ondo and even Edo States are not part of the four highest oil producing states as recommended by the Act.
“So, the recent agitation by Ondo and Edo States to have the MD slot is borne out of mischief and promoted by some selfish individuals around the President, who can do anything in exchange for money”.
Insisting that it was Bayelsa’s turn, Olambo said: “Since its establishment in 2000, Akwa Ibom has produced two substantive managing directors; Delta has produced two; Rivers State has also got two except Bayelsa which is the only state that has got only one MD among the four states.
“So, the issue of Bayelsa in the line to produce the next substantive managing director is a matter that is evident and should not incur any contention. While the appointment of executive directors is at the prerogative of the president to assign portfolios as he deems necessary.
“Therefore, there is no iota of doubt that it is the turn of Bayelsa to have the Managing Director of the NDDC. Any attempt to do the contrary will not just be a breach of the Act establishing the commission, but also a recipe for crisis.”