Following the confirmation of the new board and management team of the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC, by the Senate, on Wednesday, a youth leader in the South-south has begged that politics be eschewed from the Commission.
Imeabe Saviour Oscar, who is the National President of South-South Youth Initiative, also appealed to the Senate President, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, the former governor of Rivers State and Minister of the FCT, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Hakeem Gbajabiamila to remove their hands from the running of the NDDC.
Imeabe expressed mixed feelings over the appointment, screening and confirmation of the new NDDC Board. He said his fear and worry was the level of politics allegedly involved in the system.
Recall that Imeabe had severally led members of SSYI on a protest, blocking the main entrance of the NDDC headquarters at Marine base, Port Harcourt.
He also led another protest to Abuja with casket to register their dismay over the lingering refusal of the federal government to constitute a substantive board for the Commission.
Speaking with TNN in an interview shortly after the senate confirmed the new board members and management, Imeabe said, “I am uncomfortable because of the level of politics that is involved in the system. Nyesom Wike, former governor of Rivers State should remove his hand from NDDC, Femi Hakeem Gbajabiamila, The chief of staff to the president should remove his hand from the Commission, Godswill Obot Akpabio, the Senate President should remove his hand from the Commission.
“These critical persons, including the President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu should remove his hand from the Commission, all those persons should remove their hands from the commission, if they want the commission to work, you don’t ask somebody to go to work and at the same time you draw the person back from working.
“It is very much obvious that the current position of NDDC, politics is not far from it, we are where we are today because of politics, if they remove politics, if the already screened MD and the executives of NDDC, the board members and those that have been screened so far, if all of them remove politics from the reason they are in that office, then we will be closer to the reason for the establishment of that Commission.
“We want the president to advise all those that nominated individual persons to remove their hand from the Commission, if it must work, you don’t set up a Commission and then allow some greedy, selfish politicians to sail into the business without allowing those constituted to work, that is our fear, that is our worry, our worry is that the political interest in that office will not let it work. We want them to remove their hand from that commission, so that the commission can see the light of the day.”
He charged the new board to, “eschew politics and serve the people of the region. And those principal persons that nominated them should allow those they have nominated to work.
“I am happy that we are working towards a close system where a board has been set up, we appreciate the fact that we have been crying out for a board to be set up when the former minister who is now the senate president, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio was the minister for Niger Delta Affairs, we cried to him that a board should be formed, so far, so good, the board has been formed, we appreciate the formation of the board, we thank the president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu for actually listening to the yearning of people by putting up a constituted board,
“I won’t say the confirmation is good and I won’t say it’s bad, it’s just in between, bad and good, I said so because NDDC has been so backward, and the people of the Niger Delta region has not benefitted from the immense contribution they have given to the federal government.
“Before the departure of the former president, president Muhammadu Buhari, he set up a forensic audit, and that forensic audit was to look at how much has gone in, how much has been invested into that Commission. So much has been invested into that commission but the project delivery cannot be quantified to the money that has gone into the Commission.”