Niger Delta stakeholders under the aegis of Niger Delta Coalition for Unity and Progress has condemned alleged move to nominate former Delta State governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, as Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board of Directors chairman.
In a statement by its Bayelsa State National Coordinator, Brakemi Akokari, in Yenagoa, the group said the report in a national daily on December 29, with the headline, ‘Uduaghan may emerge new NDDC chairman’ could not be true, saying it will resist such move.
According to the group, “while we do not quarrel with the newspaper’s right to speculate for whatever interests, as the story clearly indicates, we need to place the current situation in the NDDC in right perspective and state clearly why the speculation and the contents of the report have to be taken not only with a pinch of salt but also with heightened circumspection by all stakeholders in the development of the Niger Delta and Delta State in particular.
“We are convinced it is a kite being flown by the paper which is owned by former Delta State governor and cousin to Uduaghan, James Ibori, and points to an agenda of the Ibori political family to hijack resources of the NDDC.”
The group noted that the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint and recognise an interim management committee for the NDDC is his prerogative, but stated that what is of immediate interest to the coalition, and which should concern everyone in the region, is the forensic audit which the president has promised to undertake.
“We are bothered that this audit has become a bogeyman being used by the Presidency to delay the inauguration of a board for the NDDC, especially given that the interim management committee has been in office for close to three months now. We want the president to pursue the quick audit of the NDDC and thereafter inaugurate the board,” it said.
Niger Delta Coalition for Unity and Progress noted that the newspaper report in question only goes to confirm that there has been high level lobbying for Uduaghan to be the NDDC chairman and for the dissolution of the Senate-confirmed board.