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“Exterminating Akwa Ibom From NDDC Board Is Injustice Taken Too Far”



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We have received with great shock the arbitrary dissolution of the governing board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by President Muhammadu Buhari, this is the second time within three years that the President would dissolve the entire management board of this agency without any explanation.

The Niger Delta Development Commission was established by President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2000 with the core mandate of developing the Niger Delta region, training and empowering youths of the region to curb hostilities and militancy and to develop key infrastructure in the region. The position of the leadership was supposed to rotate between the component state of the region, it is worthy of note that Akwa Ibom as the highest producer of Crude oil has not been fairly treated in the distribution of Management Position in the agency. Such acts of Injustice in the past were the reasons for the Upsurge in militancy and civil unrest in the recent past.

We recall with nostalgia that on Dec 20th 2015, the president woke up in the morning announcing the dissolution of the Barr. Bassey Dan Abia –led board and appointing Mrs. Ibim Semenitari as the Acting Managing Director. Subsequently, it was not until about 10months after that a new board was constituted with Mr Nsima Ekere as the Managing Director.

We are aware that the current action by the President which comes on the heels of repeated cries of fraud, Corruption and Flagrant Disregard to the rule of Law labeled in some quarters against the Nsima Ekere led management, is in line with the president Anti-Corruption fight.

We are equally aware that the sacked managing director Mr. Nsima Ekere is contesting on the platform of the All Progressives Congress to be a Governor and Justice demands that such high profile position of accountability and probity should not be given to someone found wanting in the cause of Public Service.

We are also aware that when a public officer resigns from office, he tenders a resignation letter to his employer who subsequently accepts or rejects such resignation letter. In this case the letter appointing a new management team contains no such reference which means All is not well.
Similarly, if for the benefits of doubt we were to believe that Mr. Ekere actually resigned his appointment as Managing Director to afford him time to contest for his election, are we also to believe that the entire management team that has been replaced also resigned to go and serve in his campaign team?

The Federal Government, through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha had announced a year ago that the current board of the NDDC was to stay for a fresh term of four years, and therefore the ouster of one management team member, ought not to have cost Akwa Ibom its constitutionally provided right to a full term of four years.

As objective and right thinking members of the society, we are not against the sacking of the Management team, however we are worried that if certain probing questions are left unattended to, there may arise, a terrible precedence that may leave the president and his anti-corruption posture on the wrong side of history.

1. Till date, the President has failed to tell Nigerians the offenses committed by Barr. Bassey Dan Abia led Management team and the board that was Sacked on December 20th 2015 , neither was any action carried out to investigate or bring to book any member of the board that may have been culpable.

2. There has been no explanation either by the President on the Rational behind the Dissolution of this current board and its management. In any case if the management team has rocked the boat of morality, it would have been welcome development to have the members face the drumbeat of justice accordingly.

3. The President has neither appointed an Akwa Ibom Indigene as Acting Managing Director or Member of the three-Man Management team, it will be the Second time the President will be Short-changing Akwa Ibom State despite being the highest oil producing state in the country.

4. The announcement by the Presidency has failed to also state the duration of the acting board which has the chairman from Bayelsa and members from Rivers and Delta states.

We hereby call on the President to immediately reconsider the current acting management board and appoint an Akwa Ibom person from the core oil producing communities as new Managing Director in the spirit of fairness and equity, in place of the sacked Managing Director. The failure of ONE man should not serve as a punishment for an entire state.


Michael Akim Udokim

Godswill Bassey Ubokudom
Secretary General

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