A socio-cultural organization, Egbe Omo Ilaje, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to step up measures aimed at righting the wrong meted on Ondo State over the appointment of the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The group, which disclosed this during a press conference at the NUJ Press Centre in Akure, the Ondo State capital, accused those who it described as ‘cabals’ within Buhari’s administration of violating the NDDC Act.
The National Secretary of the group, Rev. Edamisan Ogunfeyijimi emphasized that it was the turn of Ondo State to occupy the commission’s position of managing director instead of Delta State which was given the position.
He said, “the NDDC Act, CAP N86 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and commencing from 12th July 2000 Section 12 reads that: There shall be for the commission a Managing Director and two Executive Directors who shall be indigenes of oil-producing areas starting with the member states of the commission with the highest production quantum of oil and shall rotate amongst member states in order of production.”
“Mr. President should also take note that the NDDC Act, which prescribes such an all-inclusive arrangement, is in tandem with the Federal character principle enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“It can also not be over stressed that the NDDC is a potpourri of the ethnic nationalities of southern Nigeria, some of which are lbibio, Eflk, ljaw ltsekiri, lgbo, lkwere, Ogoni, Urhobo, lsoko, and llaje (Yoruba) to mention but only a few. The violation of the provisions of the Act in relation to the members
sates is also a denial of the rights of the indigenous peoples of the oil-producing areas of the country.
“We, therefore, believe that the proposed illegal appointments, brazenly announced when the President was out of the country, did not receive His Excellency’s blessing.”
According to the group, the NDDC Act has been breached severally, “particularly in the position of the Managing Director, which has been held exclusively by the four-member states of Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Delta, and Bayelsa, contrary to the Act.”
The group, however, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to review the appointments, saying “We enjoin President Muhammadu Buhari to personally review the announced appointments and ensure full compliance with the provisions of the NDDC Act.
“In particular, we demand that the position of the Managing Director of the commission be given to Ondo State oil-producing areas as of legal and legitimate right.”
Also, the group called on legislators from the oil-producing areas at the National Assembly “to ensure that the peaceful coexistence of the people of the region is not jeopardized on the altar of political expediency.”
Pointedly, the group declared that if the government failed to address its grievances, its youths will have no option other than to go to any length to demand for what rightly belongs to them.