The Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, has been asked by the Niger Delta Integrity Network, (NDIN) to be mindful of his utterances against the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), which he erroneously described as “hurriedly put together.”
Describing the outburst of the minister as regrettable, convener of the group, Chief Ndimele Ajuri in a statement noted that as a former senator, the minister should be familiar with the nuances of government, rather than using the word dissolved to depict the board which had not been inaugurated in the first place and which inauguration was only delayed for the Interim Management Committee to function.
He said: “Our attention has been drawn to reports in the media credited to the Minister of State for the Niger Delta Senator Tayo Alasoadura on the NDDC where he made statements to the effect that the board of the Commission which was constituted by the President and confirmed by the Senate on November 5th 2019, has been dissolved.
“It is regrettable that a minister who was a senator and who should be familiar with the nuances of government would use the word ‘dissolved’ to describe the board which had not been inaugurated in the first place and which inauguration was only delayed for the Interim Management Committee to function.
“This confirms our worst fears that there are fifth columnists in the Niger Delta Ministry who are hell-bent on frustrating the harmony and progress of the Niger Delta, a reason we opposed the continuation of the interim management committee and demanded the inauguration of the board. We still stand on this.
“For the minister to say that ‘people just rushed to form a new board and as far as we are concerned, we saw that as ensuring it was business as usual for the new people’ is in itself an indictment of the President who constituted and announced the board and sent same to the Senate for consideration. Is the minister saying that the President and the presidency are incompetent?
“For the benefit of the minister and others pushing for the interim ad hoc arrangement at the NDDC, the Senate-confirmed board is made of tested professionals from the constituent states of the Niger Delta and the various regional representations as provided for in the NDDC Act.
“It is clear to us that the persons pushing the interim agenda such as the Minister of State have no idea what they are doing, and have no qualms destroying the unity of the Niger Delta region or the reputation of the President or that of the persons already cleared for the board.
“We believe that the focus should be on the audit of NDDC, which should preoccupy the minister if he has nothing more to offer as minister, more than spinning tales and conjectures in a bid to sound active and in the know.”