The Niger Delta Renaissance Coalition has faulted the president general, Urhobo Progress Union, Chief Joe Omene, on composition and nomination of the yet-to-be-inaugurated Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Reacting to Omene’s position that the appointment of the NNDC Governing Board, which was cleared by the Senate on November 5, 2019, did not have President Buhari’s approval, the group said this position was incorrect.
In a statement by Comrade Damian Nwikinaka, National Chairman and Mr. Ochuko Kanuhor, National Secretary, the Niger Delta group said the board members were validly nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari.
It said: “The president’s letter to Senate President Ahmad Lawan, which is dated October 18, 2019 and which he personally signed, was made available to the media and has been published widely. The president’s letter titled, ‘Confirmation of Appointments of the Board of Niger Delta Development Commission’ reads: ‘In accordance with the provision of Section 2(2)(a) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) (Establishment) Act, 2000, I write to forward, for confirmation by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the under listed nominees for appointment into the NDDC board, to occupy the positions indicated against their names.'”
The group said President Buhari in addition listed the following as board members: “Dr Pius Odubu (Edo State) as chairman of the Board, Bernard O. Okumagba (Delta State) as the Managing Director, Engr Otobong Ndem (Akwa Ibom) as Executive Director, Projects, and Maxwell Oko (Bayelsa) as Executive Director, Finance and Administration.
“Others include the following as State representatives: Nwogu N. Nwogu (Abia), Theodore A. Allison (Bayelsa), Victor Antai (Akwa Ibom), Maurice Effiwatt (Cross River), Prophet Jones Erue (Delta State)), Chief Victor Ekhalor (Edo State), Olugbenga Edema (Ondo), Hon Uchegbu Chidiebere Kyrian representing Imo State.
“The rest of the board nominees listed by the President in his letter to the Senate President are Aisha Murtala Mohammed from Kano State to represent the North West, Shuaib Ardo Zubairu from Adamawa State to represent the North East and Ambassador Abdullahi M Bage from Nasarawa State to represent North Central.”
The Niger Delta Renaissance Coalition said the Senate’s standing committee headed by Senator Peter Nwaoboshi screened the nominees on October 31, 2019, following which the Senate confirmed the appointments of 15 out of the 16 nominees on November 5, 2019.
“It is very clear therefore that Chief Omene is not speaking the truth on the composition of the Board, which as has been clearly shown, was presented to the Senate by President Buhari via a letter which he personally signed and confirmed by the Senate on November 5 2019. What remains is for the duly confirmed board to be sworn in and to commence work” the group said.
The group questioned Omene’s leadership of Urhobo group, saying: “We make bold to say that Chief Omene is not the leader of the Urhobos and indeed does not lead the UPU or any socio political group in Urhobo land.
“Omene also does not speak for the Niger Delta people. His comments should therefore be consigned to the waste-basket where they belong.”