By Adibe Emenyonu
Agitation heightened at the weekend over the continued non-constitution of a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), as the Traditional Leader of Idjerhe Kingdom in Delta State, HRM. King Obukowho Monday Whiskey, demanded the immediate sack of the Minister of the Niger Delta, Mr. Godswill Akpabio.
The angry monarch hinged his call for Akpabio’s sack on the non- performance of the intervention agency in the region.
Whiskey also decried the litany of abandoned NDDC’s projects in his domain and the region.
He told journalists in Benin City, Edo State, that all efforts to speak out against the ills of the commission against the region and to draw the attention of the President Muhammadu Buhari, to the plight of the region has not yielded any result.
Whiskey appealed to Buhari to rescue the Niger Delta, adding that all multi-national oil companies operating in the region should relocate their headquarters to where the resources are sourced.
He said: “I believe the happenings in the NDDC are not new to anybody in this region. President Muhammadu Buhari must come to the rescue of the Niger Delta people at this critical time. If giving the agency to ministry is to make it more effective, then the intention to domicile NDDC with the Ministry of Niger Delta has failed completely.
“This is because we have come to now notice that NDDC was domiciled in the Ministry of Niger Delta for political reasons, so that one individual can dictate the pace of development or economic empowerment of individuals and organisations in the entire oil and gas producing states of the country.
“The damage to the region of the oil producing communities and as a result of that I have no hesitation to tell Mr. President to sack the minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio now.
“Looking into what he has done in the past three years, we have a enough reasons to believe that the common wealth of the people of the Niger Delta is what individuals are squandering and we cannot continue on that path.
“If you recall, the NDDC Act 2000 have no place for sole administrator or interim management committee. We left the stage of interim management committee to the stage of Sole Administrator. You are all aware that distinguished Nigerians, notable sons and daughters of the oil producing communities were nominated by Mr. President.”
The monarch further noted that “the members of the board were screened and confirmed by the National Assembly. It behooves on Mr. President to live up to his constitutional responsibilities by inaugurating the already screened and confirmed board of the NDDC under the chairmanship of His Excellency, Dr. Pius Odubu and Managing Director, Olorogun Bernard Okumagba.
“What is happening here in the NDDC is a shame. As I speak, there are notable projects that are supposed to be ongoing in the Idjerhe kingdom, notable oil and gas kingdom in the Niger Delta region and nothing is happening.
“There are many NDDC projects scattered all over the kingdom that are abandoned. In the face of this, I cannot preside over a kingdom where all projects are abandoned and I go to one corner and be clapping for one individual.”
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