The crisis on the appointment of nominees into the board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) deepened Tuesday as the people of Ilaje in the Coastal area of Ondo State alleged marginalisation in the appointment of top management officers of the of the commission.
Specifically, the people stated that President Goodluck Jonathan did not follow the law as it concerns the appointment of the Managing Director and the two Executive Directors of the commission, saying Delta, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa and Rivers States were being unduly favoured.
The position of the people was contained in a communique issued at the end of the meeting of the Leaders of Thought from Ilaje Kingdom, which include Ugbo, Mahin, Aheri and Etikan to review the current political development in the country.
The communiqué of the communities was signed by the Coordinating Chairman, Pastor Oyekan Arije and the Secretary, Henry Ojagbohunmi.
The leaders called on the National Assembly to put an end to the screening of the nominees sent to the National Assembly for the
composition of the board of the commission.
The leaders who stated this, said the call was necessary to ensure equity and justice as stipulated by the relevant laws in the appointment into executive positions in the NDDC board.
They also supported the action of a member of the state House of Assembly representing Ilaje Constituency II, Gbenga Edema, who instituted a suit to challenge the list sent to the Senate by the president for confirmation into the NDDC board.
The group pointed out that there was the need for government to apply Section 12 of the NDDC Act which provides that “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 quantum of oil and shall rotate among member states in order of production.”
They however, explained that the position of the Managing Director and Executive Director of the commission had been circulating among four states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta contrary to the provision of the act that established NDDC.
The leaders from the oil-producing area in the state noted that Ondo State had been marginalised in the rotation of the post whereas the state had been constitutionally recognised as the fifth in the ranking of oil producing states.
The group however called on the President Jonathan and the Senate President to consider the state and be allowed to produce either the Managing Director or one of the Executive Directors.
They said most people from the area contributed to the emergence of the Jonathan presidency by voting for him during 2011 general election, saying they deserved to be treated fairly.
“That as an NDDC state, out of the 486, 837 total valid votes in Ondo state during the 2011 president election, President
Jonathan scored 387, 376 representing 80 per cent of the votes.
The Ilaje Local Government delivered 77, 083 representing 20 per cent of the total votes for Jonathan followed immediately by 40, 417,
representing 10 per cent by our neighbouring riverine Ese Odo Local Government both accounting for 30 per cent of the total votes from the 18 local government areas of the state,” they said.