Some activists in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, have staged a protest against the list of members of the board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) sent to the Nigerian Senate by President Muhammadu Buhari for confirmation.
The activists said some of the nominees were of questionable character and that the list had breached the provision of the NDDC establishment Act.
The protest which kicked off from the Unity Fountain to the National Assembly Complex Abuja Complex on Thursday was aimed at calling the attention of the lawmakers to stop the confirmation of the nominees.
The Convener of the group, Odudu Livinus Lokiri, who addressed the protesters, said the list was tainted with people with questionable character and who also did not have the integrity and reputation to represent the interests of the people in the commission.
He said the list did not follow the due process of the law adding that Section 2(2b) of the NDDC Act stated that the chairman and other members of the board shall be persons of proven integrity and ability.
He noted that Chief Samuel Ogbokwu who was nominated for the position of Managing Director was fit for such position considering his alleged ignoble and sordid past.
He added that Ogbokwu leveraged on his political network and connection to the former Governor of Bayelsa State and current Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Silva, to have his name smuggled into the list.
According to Lokiri, "We are worried that the recent list sent to the Senate by Mr President for confirmation has not followed the due process of the law as it has breached a very key provision of the NDDC establishment act. For instance, Section 2(2b) of the NDDC act provides in unambiguous terms, that the chairman and other members of the board shall be persons of proven integrity and ability.
"It is on record that one of the board members used his political network and connection to the former Governor of Bayelsa state and current minister of state for petroleum, Timipre Silva, to subvert the law and wriggle out of the legal cobweb.
"It is unfortunate that in this time of insecurity, when a new wave of cultural orientation is being suggested for the younger generation to be impacted with the right values, this is a clear breach of the provision of the NDDC act reproduced above and we will not allow this happen without letting the world know his true person and character.
“We are jittery that our dear president is being misled by some selfish elements in furtherance of actions that encourage the breach of the constitution he swore an oath to protect and defend.
"We call on well-meaning Nigerians and true sons and daughters of the Niger Delta region, to rise to the occasion opposed our common patrimony being left in the hands of an individual with corruption baggage. NDDC is for the development of the Niger Delta region and not for the self aggrandisement of a few.”
Lokiri maintained that it is worrisome that three years after the painstaking exercise geared towards ridding the commission of corruption some corrupt individuals are now being considered for juicy appointments into the commission.
The activists vowed to do everything with its power to stop the confirmation of the characters with corruption antecedents.