By Chukwudi Nweje, Lagos
An Interest group from Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, Ilaje National Alliance Movement (INAMO), has raised the alarm over an alleged conspiracy by some politicians and businessmen to frustrate the confirmation of Mr Charles Ogunmola as Executive Director, Projects of the Niger/Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in the Senate and Mr Gbenga Edema, a commissioner nominee of Ondo State on the Board of NDDC.
In a statement he read at a press conference in Lagos on Monday, the group’s Chairman, Mr Alex Omotehinse, noted that the petitions against Ogunmola, the first indigene of Ipele, Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State to be appointed executive director in the 22 years existence of NDDC and that against Edema because he is not from an oil host community are frivolous.
He noted that the nominations did not breach the NDDC Act as the NDDC does not serve the interest of oil host communities alone, but the entire Ondo State.
He warned that the petitioners would be responsible if Ondo State missed the opportunity.
The statement, signed by Alex Omotehinse and Oluwatobi Fagbemi, Chairman and Secretary respectively of INAMO, reads in part:
“We the undersigned, belonging to the above-named organisation, representing the progressive and patriotic sons and daughters of Ilaje Nation worldwide, write to intimate the Nigerian Senate and all men and women of good conscience within and outside the shores of Nigeria of the surreptitious moves by some disgruntled elements sponsored by opposition parties, monopolistic businessmen and enemies of progress to deny Ondo State the nomination of Mr Charles Ogunmola for the position of Executive Director (Projects) on the Board of Niger/Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“These characters have already flooded the Presidency and Nigerian Senate with a trailer-load of petitions to scuttle the confirmation of Mr Ogunmola…
“We are grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari for nominating this worthy son of Ondo State in accordance with the NDDC Act… The NDDC Act was enacted to serve as an interventionist agency for Niger/Delta States and not the towns and villages where oil is explored.
“We, however, by this medium, want to inform the senate that it should not allow itself to be blackmailed into rejecting the nomination of Mr Charles Ogunmola on the false and bogus premise that he is not from an oil-producing community in the state.
“The foregoing is a retrogressive narrative being pursued by some enemies of the state who do not want Ondo State to enjoy the benefits of having her son as an Executive Director for the first time since the inception of the NDDC 22 years ago. These folks do not mind selling their heritage just to satisfy the cravings of their parochial and evil desire to the detriment of the people of Ondo-State. Out of hatred for where Ogunmola hails from in Ondo State, we are now being told that these opposition figures flooding Abuja with petitions against Ogunmola have already concluded that other states can take the position of ED Project if an Ilaje indigene won’t be given the position. As a matter of emphasis, these politicians from Ilaje are already negotiating with Imo State Government on how to trade to her, the ED Project given to Ondo State.
“It is worth mentioning that the Senate once screened and confirmed the nomination of Mr Nsima Ekere as the Managing Director of the NDDC. From available records, Mr Ekere, an Indigene of Ikot Oboroenyin, Edemaya, Ikot Abasi Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, is not from an oil-producing community in Akwa Ibom yet virtually every who-is-who in the state rallied around him during his nomination and eventual confirmation by this August house, after all, the Commissioner representing the state on the board is from an oil producing community.
“We reaffirm that there is no way the nomination of Ogunmola will short-change the people of the oil communities or Ilaje Local Government where oil is domiciled in Ondo State because one of them, Mr Gbenga Edema, is already being nominated as a commissioner to represent them on the board of the commission…”