Community Development Committee of Oil and Gas Producing Areas of the Niger Delta (CDCOGPAND) and Oil Mineral Producing Communities Traditional Rulers Forum (OMPCTRF) have warned that failure to inaugurate the board of the Niger Delta Development Board (NDDC) may lead to a resurgence of hostilities and unrest in the region.
The groups urged President Muhammadu Buhari to implement his promise to inaugurate the board of NDDC, whose members he nominated and forwarded to the senate for screening and confirmation in line with the NDDC Act.
In a statement jointly signed by the chairman, Board of Trustees, Joseph Ambakederimo and Head of Secretariat, OMPCTRF, Kingsley Arthur, the groups also urged the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Obong Umana Okon Umana, to act as a son of the soil to do what is right.
They warned Umana not to allow himself to be manipulated.
“We are appealing to President Buhari to implement his renewed promise to inaugurate the Board of NDDC, whose members he duly nominated, equally forwarded to the senate for screening and confirmation as the NDDC Act prescribed, yet the President’s appointees are yet to be sworn into office to do their work three years since the process of the appointments were completed.
“Looking at other appointments the President has made, particularly the recent appointment of the Managing Director for the Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority (OGFZA), Onne in Rivers State, the swiftness at which the appointment was made calls to question as to why the NDDC board has become something of ridicule to the people of the region.
“Another one is the directive issued by the President for a forensic audit of Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) without dissolving the board of the HYPREP or appointing an interim sole administrator to run the affairs of HYPREP while the audit will last.
“In the case of the NDDC, a substantive board has been delayed after the forensic audit had been concluded.
“President Buhari did not also appoint an interim Sole Administrator to run the affairs of the OGFZA. A substantive appointment was quickly made which has made the OGFZA appointment the swiftest appointment ever made in seven years of this administration.
“The question to ask the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, is what is delaying the NDDC Board inauguration? Why is the NDDC board inauguration being handled in such a lackadaisical manner? And why are the people of the region seeming so weak that they cannot resist the treatment of slavery by our own people?
“We hereby call on the minister to stop the ongoing charade of the illegal sole administratorship so that he does not get himself sucked into the macabre dance of shame,” the group warned.
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