Key stakeholders in Ondo State have backed the nomination of the scion of the highly revered Ajasin family, Chief Tokunbo Ajasin, into the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by President Muhammadui Buhari.
Consequently, they have urged the authorities to ignore the few individuals criticising the nomination, describing them as opportunists, who have consistently exploited the state for selfish ends.
Those who lauded the president on the choice included members of the Ilaje National Development Initiative (INDI), Owo Integrity Forum, Patriotic Youths of Nigeria, The Thinkers, Nigerian Youth Alive and the Youth Movement of Nigeria (Ondo State chapter).
President Buhari has already forwarded a 17-man list to the Senate for confirmation as members of the interventionist agency’s board with a former Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma Egba and Mr Isima Nkere as chairman and managing director-designates respectively.
In a statement signed by Mr Thomas Mogbomerun, the president of Ilaje umbrella body, it berated critics of Ajasin’s nomination as self-serving opportunists, saying they were speaking for themselves.
“This is another ego trip that cannot stand the test of time. To say the least, the orchestrated opposition against the nomination of Tokunbo Ajasin is only the handiwork of self-serving opportunists who are living the past of a warped order that has always worked for them.
“By this singular nomination, President Muhammadu Buhari has completed the circle of equity, fairness and justice by evenly distributing the ministerial nomination for south, membership of the NNPC board for central and that of the NDDC for the northern senatorial districts.’’
In a related development, the Owo Integrity Forum, through a statement by Comrade Segun Adetula, urged all honest and committed people of Ondo State to rally round the president’s choice as ‘‘the criticism by a few errand boys and groups is a calculated attempt meant to ride rough shod on our face as stakeholders.”
It added: “The Federal Government and members of the national Assembly must see such individuals as a set of agents of darkness; a bunch of individuals that are bent on enlarging the sphere and coast of personal business empires and continue their rapacious appetite for greed and avarice. Our people must tame the few dark horses and hawks that believe they must always have their way at the expense of the prosperity and well-being of the citizens of Ondo State.”
On its part, the coalition of the youth organizations, whose members held an emergency meeting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, described the criticism as an unnecessary distraction, which should be ignored.
The group accused those behind the criticism as ‘acting the script of a tiny cabal whose members have consistently held Ondo State to ransom and chosen to mortgage its interest on the altar of personal desires.”