Ondo State’s Oil Producing Communities have appealed to the federal government to grant them due consideration for the top managerial positions in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
In a statement on Friday signed by the Coordinator, Charles Ebimomi and Secretary, Omopariola Odusola, they drew attention to recent newspaper publications by interest groups in the Niger Delta bent on producing the next Managing Director of the agency, in violation of the law of the Commission. They noted that in no single instance in the course of their agitation have those groups made reference to the law.
They anchored Ondo’s case for the post of Managing Director and 2 other member-States for Executive Director positions in the Commission on the following grounds, among others:
Ondo State is the fifth largest oil producer in Nigeria;
The post of MD and those of Executive Director, Finance, and Administration, and Executive Director, Projects, are by law to be filled on rotation, beginning with States with the highest quantum of oil production; and
The other 4 States before Ondo have each produced the MD and an Executive Director of the Commission, for a combined number of years as follows: Delta,15 years; Bayelsa, 8 years; Akwa-Ibom, 11 years; and Rivers, 10 years.
“None of the five (5) other member-States of the Commission (Ondo, Edo, Imo, Abia and Cross River) has been allowed to fill any of the three Senior Management positions since the inception of the Commission in 2001,” the communities claimed.
Other factors cited to back up their claim include:
Ondo State voted massively for President Muhammadu Buhari in the last elections because the people believed they would get justice they never got for the 16 years of NDDC;
Ondo and the other four (4) oil producing States of Edo, Imo, Abia and Cross River have been the most peaceful member States of the Niger Delta Region but the most cheated and marginalized;
Peace in the Niger Delta Region can only be sustained by the Federal Government on the basis of fairness, equity and justice;
The 'Change' mantra of the Federal Government is meant to address age-long injustice in any part of Nigeria, including the NDDC; and
As a new Administration, the Federal Government should start on a clean slate in the NDDC since the biggest oil producers in the Commission have each had their day.
The communities warned that the argument for tenure completion should be ignored, as it will create more problems than it tries to solve because it means returning the old board in entirety!
“The coming of President Muhammadu Buhari at this time is not an accident,” they said.