TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
The member representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Dumnamene Dekor, has applauded Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, for his timely intervention in the foiled unlawful attempt by security operatives to arrest the former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Joi Nunieh, last Thursday.
Dekor said, but for the timely and necessary intervention of Governor Wike, the ugly episode might have incited a more serious situation in the state than the security operatives could envisage.
This, according to the federal lawmaker, has further demonstrated that Governor Wike is a true leader, who understands the deeper meaning of his oath of office, as the Chief servant of the state and not of any political party.
The Ogoni-born federal lawmaker, and former Commissioner of Works in Rivers State, said, if the former NDDC MD, who is a staunch member of the federal government-led All Progressives Congress (APC) were a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), political opponents would have taken advantage of the exemplary display of leadership and statesmanship by the governor to accuse him of partisanship.
He said: “But, by coming out in defence of this noble daughter of the State irrespective of party affiliation, His Excellency has again proved his uncommon leadership trait and willingness to ensure that the fundamental human rights of all Rivers people are respected without necessarily encouraging them to disrespect the law or constituted authorities.
On the siege laid on the residence of Nunieh by armed policemen, Dekor said the action by the law enforcement agents, who ought to lead the way, beats every sense of reason and has shown that ‘we still live in a kind of brutish environment’.
“If this could happen to a person of Dr. Nunieh’s status as a former NDDC Managing Director, who is not before any court of law or anti-graft agency for any wrong doing, how much more and safe are ordinary Nigerians”, the lawmaker wondered.
He called on President Muhammadu Buhari, as a matter of urgent public importance, to intervene to unravel the mystery of the unfolding drama in the NDDC and the “issues which tend to threaten the little that is left of the nation’s integrity before it is completely eroded as the citizens’ rights are regularly trampled upon as though ‘we live in an animal kingdom’”.
Dekor opined that if Nunieh is needed for any reasons, there are better and lawful means of inviting her than breaking into her house by armed security operatives acting in a military commando manner, as though she is a common criminal.
“Honestly, it is very, very condemnable. We are not living in a police state. We are free Nigerians, who have every right. I am surprised because in the first place, Dr. Joi Nunieh is my constituent and that is why I am particularly touched. She has been roundly intimidated for quite some time now. But, the peak of it is what happened last Thursday”, he regretted.
On the NDDC, Dekor said the agency is a sham, regretting that the commission that was established to address the multiple development challenges of the Niger Delta region has ended up as a conduit to siphon the monies meant for that purpose into the private pockets of greedy and incompetent lots.
The federal lawmaker described the many years of the establishment of the commission as wasted, with practically nothing meaningful to show for all the monies earmarked for development all over the Niger Delta.
“If the President is interested in ensuring that NDDC functions and they want to do a proper audit, I don’t think most of these characters who are running the place and who are even supervising them are supposed to be doing that”, Dekor declared.
He, therefore, called on the federal government to look for true Nigerians, true Niger Deltans who have the competence and also the integrity to get into that place, ‘so we can have an NDDC that is going to run the place and build the place for all of us to live. If not, what we see now, we are just like wasting our time’.