APC chieftain and former News Agency of Nigeria Managing Director, Olorogun Ima Niboro, has dismissed as uncharitable and unfounded, criticism launched by those he described as “interested parties “ against the newly-constituted board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
This is as various groups have attacked some of the South-South governors who were reported to have criticised the setup of the board.
Niboro said that President Muhammadu Buhari should be commended for his far-sighted decision to dissolve the former caretaker committee and emplace a proper board.
He pointed out that the former NDDC team had become part of the problem, rather than the solution to the crisis in the Niger Delta, and it was a good time to show them the way out.
According to him, “it is disingenuous for anyone to criticise the new board, when they stood idly by while the former caretaker team members were caught up in, in fighting and were actively working at cross purposes with one another.”
Niboro insisted that the new board was a fine team, largely made up of experienced, former public servants, and expressed confidence in their ability to turn around the fortunes of the commission.
Meanwhile, the United Front for Urhobo Nationalism, (UFUN Nigeria) led by Dr. George Orherhe, has said President Buhari deserves applause for the new NDDC board appointments.
Addressing reporters in Abuja on Monday evening, Orherhe urged all Niger Deltans to shun mischief-makers and anonymous critics by expressing their support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s choice of capable personnel to run the NDDC.
“About 20 years after the leadership of NDDC had eluded Delta State, President Buhari gave everyone a pleasant surprise by nominating our highly-respected Mr. Bernard Okumagba as the new Managing Director.
“We are appalled that some faceless critics have again, started fanning the embers of disunity over President Buhari’s choice of Bernard Okumagba and other experienced persons because these new brooms will not give room for pecuniary greed that used to dominate in the past.
“Rather, we thank Mr. President for this bold and commendable choice that confirmed his determination to ensure justice in the Niger Delta.
“While Ogoni people are commending President Buhari for the pleasant surprise of embarking on the environmental clean-up of Ogonland, Urhobo now have cause to applaud him for this well-deserved pleasant surprise which our people treasure so much.
“We also call on all peace-loving Nigerians who believe in fairness, equity and social justice to join hands in applauding President Buhari for bringing in a team of competent and well-respected Nigerians headed by Bernard Okumagba to come and steer the NDDC ship towards accelerating socio-economic development in the Niger Delta,” Dr. George Orherhe stated.
Speaking in the same vein, the Isoko National Rescue Movement (INRM), in a statement issued by its spokesman, Mr. Akpo Ogegere, lamented the manner in which some highly-placed Niger Deltans, including those working for some state governors were embarking on a campaign of mischief towards misleading Nigerian citizens over the appointment of a new board for NDDC.
According to Ogegere, the INRM feels perplexed that several Urhobo groups including the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Youth Wing and the Urhobo Nationalism in Nigeria (UFUN Nigeria) are congratulating NDDC’s new Managing Director, Mr Bernard Okumagba and commending President Buhari in a manner which suggests that some people wish to appropriate the new managing director to themselves.
“Okumagba is a patriotic, detribalised and very competent of men and materials; it is futile to try and present him as being the property of any ethnic group.
“He is ready to serve all and now, the entire Niger Delta can say that we have an NDDC that is for all in every sense,” the INRM spokesman stated.
Condemning governors in Niger Delta state for allegedly using fronts to try and whip up sentiments against President Buhari and his choice of Mr. Bernard Okumagba to head NDDC, he lamented that some Niger Delta leaders seemed to have their heads stuck in the past.
“We all know that perhaps with the exception of Delta State governor , Mr. Ifeanyi Okowa, these governors are seeking to perpetuate the locust years that their party, the PDP foisted on us all.
“How can the governors ever hope to justify the meeting of mischief and the taking of positions against the populist choice of President Muhammadu Buhari who seem so well informed about self-serving leadership in the Niger Delta and how to truncate it through the choice of competent persons capable of holding their own ground?
“The appointment of Okumagba says a lot about the Buhari administration’s focus and determination; all Niger Deltans should acknowledge the choice of a leadership that is keen to demonstrate the true meaning of populist service because we are truly convinced that Okumagba as well as NDDC is for all, not an influential few,” he added.