The umbrella body of Ijaw Youths worldwide, the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) has kicked against the decision by President Muhammadu Buhari in appointing a sole administrator to oversee the NDDC.
According to the IYC, President Buhari has the perogative to hire and fire, the decision to sack Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei-led Interim Management Committee (IMC) without setting up a substantive management board is defective, provocative and lacking in proper advice by aides and advisers of the president.
The IYC, in a statement issued on Monday by its National Spokesman, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, said the decision to appoint Mr. Effiong Okon Akwa as the interim administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) without the appointment of Executive Director Projects(EDP) and Executive Director of Finance and Administration(EDFA) in the commission is a deliberate act of encouraging the re-looting of billions of naira recovered by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) from contractors.
Ekerefe noted that with the decision of the president appointing a sole administrator of the NDDC, he has confirmed again that he is not up-to-date on the happenings in the Niger Delta region and have not hearken to the calls by the South-South stakeholders and governors in Port Harcourt in Rivers state on the need for the appointment of a substantive management board for the NDDC which will accelerate developments in the region.
According to him, under the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, it has become a pattern that all apointments that are supposed to benefit the people of the Niger Delta region directly have been made temporal, instead of substantive, whereas, in the North where the president comes from, that isn’t the situation.
However, this attitude of undermining the Niger Delta region with contempt by the federal government is gradually signaling signs of obscurities. And therefore if deliberate steps are not taking to renew the confidence as trust between the region and the federal government, the situation will spiral and get out of control and all the efforts that stakeholders have put in the stabilization of the region will be defeated.
The IYC also observed that this reservations were also expressed by the National Assembly Minority Caucus, the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers and many other stakeholders from the region.
According to Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, “we have credible intelligence which suggests that N3.5billion was spent around to key aides of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the appointment of the Executive Director of Finance and Administration, Mr Akwa Efiong Okon, a brother and kinsman to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs scales through as the sole administrator to oversee the NDDC and ignorantly endorsed by the President.” This is a President who talks about fighting corruption, but right in his nose, appointments are giving to the highest bidder without his knowledge.
“It is becoming a dangerous precedence for the President to continuously appoint interim and sole administrators to oversee sensitive institutions within the region just like the PAP rather than substantive boards. This particular appointment of sole administrator of the NDDC is annoying and it is sending provocative signals to agitating groups and the people of the region. The president should reverse this unpopular and unconstitutional decision and appoint a substantive board made up of credible individuals for the commission which is long overdue.”