Stakeholders in the Niger Delta region have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to approve a board of directors for the Niger Delta Development Commission rather than a single administrator (NDDC).
The stakeholders made the appeal in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Ogbakiri Yanga, on Thursday in Yenagoa, under the auspices of the Niger Delta Movement for Development (NDMD).
Members of the NDMD stated that they would only accept the current management team led by Dr. Efiong Akwa as the commission’s final interim administrator.
The stakeholders said their call became necessary because they recently “observed with dismay another selfish plot to make the NDDC an appendage of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs with full powers to dictate the direction of the commission.”
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The statement said the NDMD emergency meeting, where their resolution was taken, was held in Oporoza, Delta, and was attended by youth leaders and elders from the region.
Members of the NDMD resolved that they would not accept another sole administrator for the NDDC.
The NDMD maintained that any other change in the management of the NDDC should be the appointment of a board rather than a sole administrator, as directed by the Act establishing the commission.
“This is the least we expect from The Presidency and the Ministry of Niger Delta. Any announcement of another interim administrator other than the inauguration of a substantive board will be viewed by us as provocative and the highest level of insensitivity.
“We have stomached this outright neglect of our opinions and feelings for a long time because we believe that Dr. Efiong Akwa will be the last sole administrator of this commission.
“Any other change of management must be the inauguration of a board.
According to the body, any administration other than a substantive board will lead to a revolution of unimaginable proportion in the region, saying the entire Niger Delta was watching with keen interests and was prepared to rise to defend its common interests.
Members of the NDMD described as “utter wickedness” the plot by some few selfish individuals to want to institute and perpetuate the status quo.
“We want to believe that some selfish individuals are bent in totally damaging the image of President Muhammadu Buhari in the Niger Delta.
“Already, the way some of these individuals have handled the affairs of the NDDC has left much to be desired, “ the statement said.
It said the people were quiet because they believed that the next change of leadership would be the announcement of a board.
“Don’t taste the wrath of a lion by touching its tail. Any attempt to appoint another interim administrator will be likened to waking up a sleeping dog.
The group then urged Buhari to urgently constitute the board for the commission.
They also said it was unacceptable the moves in some quarters to reduce the powers of NDDC and make it subservient to the Ministry of the Niger Delta Commission.
The NDMD said it was keenly monitoring the situation, adding that the planned selfish move by these unnamed persons was not in the best interest of the region.