Indigenes of Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal constituency in Delta State have expressed displeasure over their non-inclusion in the list of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) sent to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari for screening and confirmation.
The people under the auspices of Concerned Ndokwa Patriots (CNP), in a protest letter addressed to the president and endorsed by their national coordinator and secretary, Comrade Victor Okwuepusu and Barrister Ben Ellu respectively, said: “We were deeply shocked, when we read in several national dailies that the proposed list of persons nominated for membership of the recently reconstituted NDDC board had no Ndokwa/Ukwuani indigene despite the fact that since the commission was established on July 12, 2000 and reconstituted four times, no Ndokwa/Ukwuani indigene had been appointed as either chairman or member of the board of directors.
“Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal Constituency of Delta State consists of Ndi-Oshimili-Ukwuani speaking people who are indigenous to Ndokwa West, Ndokwa East and Ukwuani Local Government Areas of Delta State.
These three local government areas have within their geographical areas oil-bearing and producing communities that contribute 12 per cent of the total oil and gas produced in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
“It will be proper to state that several foreign and indigenous oil producing and servicing companies are operating without hindrance in Ndokwa land. These companies include: Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Sterling Energy Exploration Company (SEEPCO), Midwestern Oil and Gas Limited, Energia Oil J.V., Chorus Energy, Pillar Oil and Gas, Platform Petroleum Limited.”
According to the statement, “Ndokwa land has the largest oil and gas recycling plant in the whole of West Africa. This recycling plant is called Kwale/Okpai Gas Plant operated by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company and it supplies electricity to 14 states in Nigeria except Ndokwa nation where it derives its source having been stepped down in Obosi, Anambra State.” The statement added that “in pursuant to the powers conferred on president by the Act establishing the Niger Delta Development Commission, particularly section 2(2)(a)(v), he is “to appoint the chairman and other members who are persons of proven integrity and ability to the board of NDDC, subject to the confirmation of the Senate in consultation with the House of Representatives”.
They noted that in Delta State, the five major ethnic groups that produce oil are Ndokwa/Ukwuani, Urhobo, Isoko, Ijaw and Itsekiri, adding that “it is apposite to state that since the reconstitution of the NDDC board in four previous occasions, including the recent list submitted to the National Assembly for screening and confirmation, the Urhobos, Ijaws, Isokos and Itsekiris have been appointed time and again except Ndokwa.”