A Niger Delta group, Western Ijaw Consultative Assembly, has expressed disappointment with the composition of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
In a statement, the chairman and secretary, Ebipade Gbegha and Ogbein Zidieke, lamented the exclusion of the Ijaw ethic group from the leadership of the commission and described it as unfair and an indication of marginalisation.
The group said by excluding the Ijaw from the leadership of the board, the Federal Government had contravened the act that set up the commission which made provision for oil producing communities to be given preference in the composition of the board.
“The NDDC was established to cater for the oil producing communities of the Niger-Delta and appointments to the Board is done rotationally to foster fairness, peace and harmony amongst the various ethnic groups in the region. From inception, the office of the managing director of the NDDC has been occupied twice by the Urhobos and one Urhobo has also occupied the office of Executive Director, whereas Delta Ijaw has never been considered for the MD position. The principle of rotation as enshrined in the NDDC’s Establishment Act has offered the people of Delta State the oppourtunity to produce at least another MD. This rare oppourtunity offers any good leader with a sense of history to correct the ethnic bias inherent in the previous board appointment. However, this very unique opportunity has been snatched by people parading themselves as close allies of the Federal Government.