Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has come hard on the governors of South-South geopolitical zone for being critical of the recent appointments into the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The ruling party in a statement signed by the National Vice Chairman, South-South, Hilliard Eta, described them as selfishness and bereft of leadership qualities.
The party argued that the South South governors have no moral right to criticize the appointments made by the president since they have not delivered the dividend of democracy to the people.
“Our attention has been drawn to various reports in the media on the very shameful and disgraceful steps taken by South South governors on the recent appointments made by Mr. President, wherein very qualified sons of South-South geopolitical zone were appointed into the board of the NDDC.
“Ordinarily, we would have ignored such disgraceful steps by men we thought could have known better, but it has become imperative that we stand in the defense of justice and for the benefit of Nigerians.
“It is sad that these governors of the oil-rich states of the Niger Delta who should be highly concerned by the level of poverty and deteriorating state of infrastructures in the zone, are rather being parochial, selfish and exhibiting the highest form of ignorance in governance.
“They are only interested in ensuring that their family members, cronies and stooges are appointed to strategic positions, to the detriment of the generality of Nigerians. The steps by these self-serving governors just go to show that indeed their election into such high offices were just a direct product of the subversion of the collective wills of the people in the last general elections.
“We view these steps taken by these governors as very dishonourable and they show that governance in our zone is at the lowest ebb,” the statement read.
Reacting further, the ruling party noted: “Whereas, responsible leaders would have rolled out the drums in celebration and appreciative of Mr. President’s magnanimity in appointing eminent and qualified Nigerians of the South-South extraction into the board of NDDC, alas, the governors of the South South geopolitical zone, most of them from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), went on the rampage, asking Mr. President to review the appointment, for whatever reasons.
“What a shame! For us, we view this as crass irresponsibility, shameful display of ignorance, and opposition politics carried too far.”
Accusing the governors of bad governance, the APC leader said: “For the benefit of the doubt, for those who may not be familiar with the trend of events in the South-South (Niger Delta) region, irrespective of the humongous amount of monies the governors of the zone received from the federation account and security votes on a monthly basis, there is nothing to show in terms of development.
“Under the watch of these governors, there is a high rate of unemployment, youths’ restiveness and their ugly consequences, kidnapping of innocent citizens for ransom by criminals, poor primary health care facilities or none existent in some areas, poverty, insecurity of lives, banditry and all vices are on the increase in the zone.
“There is total decay of infrastructures in the zone and these governors are doing nothing about it nor have a workable template on how to deliver democratic dividends to Nigerians of the South South zone.
“It is very shameful that these governors have not exhibited the capacity to govern the people, but just engaging in fanning the embers of their deflated egos, self-aggrandisement and getting involved in selfish politics, while the people wallow in abject poverty and penury.
“Our only consolation is that our great party, the APC, is challenging the charade that brought these … of unreason to power at the various legal platforms.
“We wish to use this medium to join millions of respected leaders and stakeholders nation-wide in thanking our amiable leader and president, Muhammadu Buhari for reconstituting the NDDC board, and for also appointing qualified indigenes of the South-South zone and qualified Nigerians into the board,” the statement read.