Niger DeltaNews

A’ Ibom: Group raises alarm over marginalization in new NDDC board

By Isaac Job

A coalition of socio-political groups under the aegis of Self Employed Association Of Progressives (SEA-Pro), has protested the alleged marginalization of Akwa Ibom state in the constitution of the new board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) announced by president Mohammedu Buhari recently.

Rising from their emergency meeting in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital on Saturday, after the protest, the group condemned the composition of the new NDDC board pointing out that “it negates the extant provisions of the Act establishing the interventionist agency in 2000.”

Speaking with newsmen in Uyo shortly after the meeting, the leader and state Coordinator of the coalition group, Prince Ekpuk Jumbo, described allocation of position of only State Representative to Akwa Ibom not minding the fact that the state is one of the four major oil producing states in the region, as ‘not only embarrassing, but an insult to the sensibilities of the people of the state.”

He therefore, urged the Federal Government to revisit what they described as ‘lopsided composition of the new Board with a view to correcting the anomaly”

Jumbo, threatened to drag the federal government to court where such injustice will be addressed.

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A petition to be transmitted to the Federal Government signed by other members including Mr Goddy Unyah, Deputy State Coordinator for Uyo Senatorial District; Ben Ukutt, for Eket Senatorial District and the Secretary-General, Pastor Joe Ita said such marginalization is a bareface injustice that will not be condoned.

“As a group, we have taken our position to use this medium to impress it on the Federal Government to address this bare-face injustice by giving Akwa Ibom, one of the oil producing states in Niger Delta its statutory right of the position of the Executive Director, Finance and Administration, in the composition of the new NDDC Board as enshrined in the Act that established the agency in 2000.

“According to section 12 (1) of the Act, it says and I quote: “There shall be for the Commission, a Managing Director and two Executive Directors, who shall be indigenes of oil producing areas, starting with the member state of the Commission with the highest production of oil, and shall rotate amongst member states in the order of production.”

He point out that “account to the data obtained from the Federal Ministry of Finance, RMAFC, FAAC, FIRS, Edo state, unlike Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers, is not among the four top oil-producing states” and wondered why such position should be allotted to Edo.

He warned that “we will simultaneously charged and mobilized our members across the region to embark on more peaceful protests until our major demand of giving Akwa Ibom state its rightful due is addressed satisfactorily.”

“For now, we are calling on our members to remain calm, while waiting for the Federal Government’s action on the matter.” he said.

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