Port Harcourt—Ex-Niger Delta militant leader, Mujahid Asari-Dokubo has asked President Bola Tinubu to scrap the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and return the former Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC).
Dokubo-Asari said the OMPADEC, which was established in 1992, to rehabilitate and develop the Oil Mineral Producing Areas of Nigeria was proper, given the fact that there are oil-producing communities outside the Niger Delta region.
According to the Leadership News, Asari-Dokubo stated this in a thank-you commendation statement addressed to President Bola Tinubu.
He said that the change of nomenclature from OMPADEC to NDDC in 2000, suggested that the commission (NDDC) was only established to address the agitation of oil-producing areas in the Niger Delta region like Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers State.
According to him: “Mr. President, I am grateful and wish to commend your decision to reinstate the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
“This decision shows your determination, reflects your deep understanding of the challenges and unique needs of the Niger Delta region, and demonstrates your commitment to addressing them.
“Mr. President, I know you are aware that Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC), was established to rehabilitate and develop the Oil Mineral Producing Areas of Nigeria which had been subjected to the devastating effects of ecological destruction and environmental pollution.
“This means that oil-producing areas that are not geographically in the Niger Delta, are captured in the OMPADEC programmes.
“The change of nomenclature from OMPADEC to NDDC suggested that the commission was established to address the agitation of only oil-producing areas in the Niger Delta states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers State.
“Mr. President, I beg you to consider returning NDDC to OMPADEC nomenclature, with its core mandate of addressing issues of rehabilitation and development of the Oil Producing Areas of Nigeria, including Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo, Kogi, Rivers and any other area blessed with oil mineral.
“From the foregoing, it is clear that NDDC has no relation with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
“Oil-producing areas should be treated on their merit, while the Niger Delta areas of Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, and Akwa Ibom states should be treated solely as Niger Delta from a geographic and scientific point of view.”
The ex-militant leader thanked President Tinubu for reinstating the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, stressing that “among all attempts to address the agitation of the Niger Delta, the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs is the direct attempt, and therefore plays a vital role in coordinating and implementing programs and initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable development, peace, and stability in the oil-rich region.”