Protest rocked the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Friday, over the transfer of power to the Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Mr. Mene Derek, by Nsima Udo Ekere, the gubernatorial candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) for Akwa Ibom State.
The APC flag bearer for Akwa Ibom State governorship race, doubles as the Managing Director and Chief Executive officer of NDDC.
The protest was organized by a coalition of groups, including Niger Delta Front, South-South Youths and other organizations.
Leader of the Niger Delta Front, Chief John Harry, who addressed journalists in Port Harcourt, said the leaders and youths decided on the protest to stop the hand over, describing the plan to extend the tenure of the current board as abuse of office.
He called on the National Assembly to wield the big stick to stop the crisis in the commission by dissolving the NDDC board.
He also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to use his good office and leadership position to maintain peace in the region by urgently appointing a sole administrator to oversee the management of the commission.
“The hand over is unacceptable. It is illegal” Chief Harry said.
The present NDDC board tenure of Ndoma Egba, Ndoma Egba and others elapsed on October 31, 2018 in line with the terms of their appointment and the law establishing NDDC, which clearly stated that they were to complete their respective state’s tenures.
Where a vacancy occurs in the membership of the board, it shall be filled by the appointment of a successor to hold office for the remainder of the term of office of his predecessor.
The NDDC ACT 2000 provides for the rotation of the commission’s leadership amongst the nine member states of Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo Ondo and Rivers in alphabetical order. The positions of Managing Director, Executive Director (Projects) and Executive Director (Finance) also follow the rotational policy under Part 4, Section 12 of the NDDC ACT.
He also urged President Buhari to implement the NDDC ACT.
Credit: Ebireri Henry Ovie