NDDC: Group Urges Buhari, APC, To End ‘Ongoing Illegality’, Inaugurate Board 

Wed May 18th, 2022 - Delta

Niger Delta Elders’ Forum (NDEF) has again urged President Muhammadu Buhari to end what it called ongoing illegality in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and comply with the law setting up the Commission, fulfil his promise of June 24, 2021, and inaugurate the substantive board to manage the Commission for the benefit of the people of the nine Niger Delta states.

According to Tonye Ogbogbula, National President of the group, “amity between the President Muhammadu Buhari government and the people of Nigeria who he governs is based on trust which is earned from promises made and promises kept.” He observed that “one of such promises by President Buhari to the nation was made on June 24, 2021 when, receiving the leadership of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), he unequivocally committed to inaugurate the NDDC Board upon the receipt of the Commission’s Forensic Audit report, which report has been submitted to him since September 2, 2021.”

The President said: ‘‘Based on the mismanagement that had previously bedeviled the NDDC, a forensic audit was set up and the result is expected by the end of July, 2021. I want to assure you that as soon as the forensic audit report is submitted and accepted, the NDDC Board will be inaugurated.”

NDEF regretted that “not only has the President not fulfilled his promise eight months after, which prompted the Ijaw National Congress (INC) to describe the delay in the inauguration of the NDDC Board as a “clear betrayal of trust and display of state insensitivity on Ijaw nation and Niger Delta region,” it further negates this government’s touted commitment to the rule of law.”

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Ogbogbula stated that it is sad that for a government which prides itself for adherence to rule of law, President Buhari’s Government conversely continues to administer the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in flagrant violation of the NDDC Act. He noted that “as a Commission established in 2000 by an Act of Parliament, the ongoing national embarrassment at NDDC should be of grave concern to President Buhari about his legacy when he leaves office in 2023 and thereby persuade him to put an end to the illegality of further administering NDDC with a Sole Administrator that is not known to the law setting-up the Commission.”

NDEF President recounted that “since the inauguration of the Buhari Presidency on May 29, 2015, it has serially violated the law setting up NDDC by consistently choosing to administer the Commission through illegal interim managements and sole administrator contraptions that are alien to the law setting up NDDC. In the seven-year tenure of President Buhari, NDDC has only been administered by a substantive Board for two years, between November 2016 and January 2019 when Senator Victor Ndom-Egba was Chairman while Nsima Ekere was the Managing Director.”

He further observed that “there is a pattern of illegalities instituted by the current administration to undermine accountability at the NDDC in a way that no other federal agency has been so treated in the last seven years of the Buhari Presidency. In the 15-year history of the NDDC, prior to President Buhari’s coming in 2015, an interim appointment had never been made outside of the law, even when the Governing Boards were dissolved.”




source: Leadership