Stakeholders from Niger Delta zone have expressed support for President Bola Tinubu’s decision to retain the Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDCC), Chief Samuel Ogbuku, and two executive directors, following the dissolution of the commission’s board.
The stakeholders expressed the support at a news conference jointly organised by some Niger Delta groups in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on Monday, July 3, 2023.
The groups included: Movement for Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality (MOSIEND), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
The stakeholders, in a statement issued at the end of the news conference and signed by Mr Afoegba Goodyear, expressed their total support for the president’s decision on the commission.
The group said that the Ogbuku-led administration should be given the opportunity to continue the good work it had started, adding that it was for the benefit of the people of the region and Nigerians in general.
The president had, on June 19, 2023, announced the dissolution of the boards of all federal government parastatals, agencies and institutions, maintaining that the decision was done in good faith.
“For the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), it was a matter of mixed reactions, when the commission was named among the parastatals and agencies dissolved by the Federal Government.
“We are, however, relieved to know that the managing director, the executive director (projects) and the executive director (finance and administration) were retained to manage the commission, pending the constitution of a new board.
“As stakeholders in the Niger Delta region, we recognise the sacrifices and efforts expended by sons and daughters of the region before the last board was constituted,” they said.
The stakeholders noted that the peace and progress of the region mattered more to them now than the fight for positions and appointments, adding that it was high time the fight over the commission ended.
“We appreciate the news of the retention of the Managing Director and the other aforementioned executive directors. We are gladdened by this kind gesture of the President,” they said.
The groups, while acknowledging the fact that the dissolved NDDC board started-off a good note, appealed to Tinubu to consider members of the dissolved board for reappointment and be allowed to operate.
“We find very distasteful the naysayers who are condemning the good intentions of Mr President in retaining the management committee,” they further said.
The stakeholders assured Ogbuku and his team that the people of the region were solidly behind them in the running of the commission and that they would not succumb to any blackmail or intimidation.
By Isaiah Eka