The Oil Producing Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Imo State under the auspices of Urashi Peoples’ Congress (UPC) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to reverse what it described as persistent lopsided appointment in the management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
In an open letter addressed to the president, which was signed by the Coordinator, Mr. Reginald Uwakwe, a copy of which was made available to newsmen yesterday, the group lamented that the appointments into key positions i.e. the managing director of the NDDC, have been allegedly skewed in favour of only four states of Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa and Delta, out of the nine member states that made up the commission.
It said between 2001 and 2021, the list of managing directors and their states included Dr. Godwin Omene, Emmanuel Aguariavwodo, both from Delta State; Timi Alaibe, Bayelsa State; Mr. Chibuzor Ugwuoha, Dr. Christian Oboh, both from Rivers State; Nsima Ekere and Dan Abia, both from Akwa-Ibom State; Nelson Brabaifa and Kemebradikumo Pondei, Bayelsa State; Joy Nunieh, Rivers State, and Okon Akwa, Akwa-Ibom State with executive directors of Finance/Administration and Project were also appointed from only the four states.
The group stated: “We, the Urashi Peoples’ Congress (UPC), an umbrella body of all the oil-producing local government areas in Imo State want to bring to your attention the urgent need to correct the lopsided appointments to the leadership position of the NDDC.
“The biased appointment, which has persisted since the commission came into existence over the years, has assumed a critical and sensitive dimension of great concern, of which if left uncorrected is capable of threatening the operations and truncating the activities of the commission.
The group explained that a compromise was reached that the position would be rotated within the nine oil-producing states-Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers.
It pointed out that a cursory look into subsequent appoints made would confirm that nobody from the South-east states of Abia and Imo has been appointed into the management positions either as a managing director or the other two executive directors previously.
The group said South-east members of the NDDC caught up in this situation were not only fast becoming frustrated, helpless, and despondent, but also that of anxiety borne out of the fear of a deliberate attempt to side-line the Igbo states in the NDDC from the mainstream scheme of activities in the commission.