Ministers, other politicians from Niger Delta behind delay of NDDC board constitution, IYC alleges

Yenagoa—The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has alleged that ministers and other politicians from the Niger Delta region are behind the delay in the constitution of a substantive board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

In a statement by its spokesman, Ebilade Ekerefe, the IYC stated that the delay is said to be fueled by greed and power play amongst ministers from the region.

While calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore the ministers, the statement also urged him not to allow them to truncate his efforts in maintaining peace in the Niger Delta.

The statement reads in part:

“It has come to the notice of the entire youths of the region that these ministers and some high profile members of the National Assembly from the region are engaged in selfish battles over the choice of who mounts the saddle of leadership in the NDDC.

“These politicians are trying to usurp the powers of the President to foist a board that will work for their personal interest and not that of the region.

“Is it not enough that President Buhari has refused to publish the audit report where their names and that of their cronies are evidently visible as part of those who ferried away the development fund voted for the region under the NDDC despite calls from stakeholders to publish the report?

“We are warning them that if they refuse to allow President Buhari to set up the board with their unnecessary power tussles, the Ijaw youths will convene an enlarged meeting where their names will be read out and necessary sanctions served them.

“These anti-Niger Delta elements should stop pulling resources together and wasting time and energy to lobby the presidency for their preferred choice.

“While we are calling for the appointment of an Ijaw (a Bayelsan to be precise) as a substantive Managing Director (MD) of the Niger Delta Development Commission, some greedy vultures who live to feed fat in the rot taking place at the commission as a result of their personal greed and interest, are now using the weight of their high profile political appointments to truncate the efforts, all in the suspicion that those who may emerge may not be their loyalists.

“These deviant Niger Delta leaders who see the NDDC as their cash-cow, and are now bent on doing anything to frustrate the president from appointing a substantive Board of the NDDC so long as top management officers, especially the MD, would not be stooge or pawn nominated by them to continue their siphoning of the Commonwealth of Niger Delta people and to fund the machinery of their 2023 political ambitions.

“What we know from very reliable sources is that certain power brokers of the Niger Delta origin, sitting in Abuja have vowed that NDDC Board would never be constituted, because most of those penciled down for the Commission’s top job, are not within their immediate political embrace and control.

“We, as Ijaw youths, are not happy with the politicization of the NDDC, because it is an interventionist agency established with the sweats and blood of our youths to bring development to the region, but over the years, politicians have leveraged on their romance with powers at the Centre to man the exalted office of MD/CEO of the Commission with nothing to show for.

“We, therefore, call on the President to write his name gold in the annals of history to for once look away from the established trend of godfatherism and stooge nomination, and appoint into the Commission, people of Character, deep experience, technical know-how and proven track record in administration and service that will fast track the development of the Niger Delta without undue interference by supposed political godfathers which had been the case over time.”

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