By: Samuel Ogbuku
The NDDC BOARD which was established by an Act of the National Assembly in the year 2000 , had the sole aim of bringing about peace , security and development to the people of the Niger Delta region after a long period of neglect.
In the wisdom of those who drafted the act and to ensure equity and fairness among member states , they decided to tenure membership of the board for a single tenure of four (4) years in an alphabetic order on how the chairmanship and management board positions should rotate among the member states. The first board had the chairman from Abia State , Managing director (MD) Delta State , Executive Director finance and admin ( EDFA) Bayelsa State and Executive director Project ( EDP) Akwa Ibom State.
However, this precedence has been maintained and where the entire board is been dissolved before it’s terminal date , a new board is been appointed to complete the tenure of the former . It was against this background that after the last board headed by Dan Abia as MD/ CEO was dissolved, the President had to reappoint the present board to reflect the former composition of the management board according to their respective states in order not to short change the states who had not complited their tenure of four years .
If this has been the precedence then why will this present board which is also a beneficiary want to suddenly change the rules by forcing elongation of the tenure of their various states ? It is on record that no state since the inception of NDDC have stayed more than the required four years tenure especially when other states are patiently waiting for their turn .that was why when Chief Timi Alaibe acted as MD/CEO for two (2) years and when appointed the substantive MD , he was allowed to server for only two (2) years to complete the four (4) years tenure of Bayelsa State. If this precedence were not to be followed, Akwa Ibom State would not have produced the present MD . Probably other states in the region would have lobbied for the office . But others stayed away and respected the fact that Akwa Ibom State was yet to complete it’s tenure , hence waited for their right turn . It was in the spirit of this precedence that while Mrs Ibim Semenitari was Acting as MD , Akwa Ibom people sponsored various protest and court cases calling for the completion of their tenure . So now why want to cheat others ?
Consequently, it is the turn of BAYELSA STATE to produce the next MD of NDDC at the completion of the tenure of Akwa Ibom State which is expected to terminate by December 2017 . It will be unjust to the people of BAYELSA STATE and the entire IJAW NATION if the tenure of the present board is extended by one day . We are however aware that the present board have fraudulently secured an extension letter from the back door to keep them in office till 2020 , meaning Akwa Ibom State will hold the MD position for six (6) years which is an aberration and it must not be allowed .
I want to use this medium to call on every Ijaw man to speak up and act on this fraud and injustice. As members of APC from Bayelsa State, we will also resist this attempt to short change our people because we believe in fairness, equity and justice which is what our party stands for . We will not at this point allow people who were never members of APC, but brought into the Government to serve, to come and create disaffection among brothers in the region, because they don’t share the vision of the administration.
The Niger Delta region has been relatively peaceful for sometime and we do not expect actions from those who are expected to keep the peace , to suddenly derail the calm we enjoy by acts of imposing their selfish will on the people in collaboration with some persons outside the region who are ready to accept any amount of money just to do the bidding of anybody without gauging the consequence of their actions and the damage on the image of administration, just like the case of the resent( MAINAGATE ).
Finally, I expect Mr President and the authorities , to rescind this action and investigate all those involved in this fraud and injustice as it is capable denting the image of the administration and cause a breakdown of law and order in the region since the people of BAYELSA STATE will not fold their arms to be short changed in a broad day robbery of their right .
By Chief Samuel Ogbuku.. Copied from Tonye Okio