July 25, 2021

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New NDDC Board: Akpabio Says Buhari Is Lawless Says He Is Not Afraid

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Minister of the Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio has inferred that the president, Muhammadu Buhari is lawless. He points to the president’s appointment of persons into the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, as an example of a disobedience to the laws of the land.
Although Akpabio did not directly accuse the president of being lawless, he disagreed with Buhari on his choice of someone from Delta State as managing director of the NDDC, instead of a Bayelsa son, for the position. He insinuated that Buhari’s choices for the new board cannot stand.
Akpabio has been at daggers drawn with Buhari on the new board of the NDDC. He also took the battle to the senate when he disagreed with the National Assembly, after they had screened and confirmed the new NDDC team.
It was the same day that the senate received the names of the president’s nominees for the board that Akpabio announced the sack of the former acting managing director and named an interim management team, headed by Joy Nunieh.
In a commando style, Nunieh and two other appointees for the board took over the commission and has already started reshuffling directors of the commission. But the interim team is having credibility problems, as the National Assembly insists that the NDDC budget will not be considered under the interim management.
Akpabio has not hidden his rejection of the new board which Buhari put in place. Even when the senate ordered that the new board should resume work immediately, the minister is seen to have prevented them from being inaugurated.
Last week, while speaking to journalists in his office in Abuja, Akpabio spoke out openly on what may be regarded as his reason for the confusion in the leadership of the NDDC. Apparently, he wants the president to eat his words and rejig.
He explained: “The first chairman of the commission was Chief Onyeama Ugochukwu from Abia State; the second chairman was Ambassador Sam Edem from Akwa Ibom; the third was AVM (Rtd) Larry Koinyan from Bayelsa; fourth was Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba from Cross River. So, the next one should be Delta.
“And we have now jumped Delta and given it to Edo. It is the turn of Edo after Delta. So, the current list that we have cannot engender peace. It is almost like saying when it is the turn of Ondo, Ondo will say we don’t’ want it, give it to Rivers, we want a bigger position. No it is not like that.
“We have not had two full years of Managing Director for Bayelsa. We have had Engr. Godwin Omene staying as MD of NDDC for almost four full years. We have had Hon Emmanuel Aguariavwodo from Delta serving as MD for almost three years. So, it is not the turn of Delta. I am not afraid to tell the truth.”
According to Akpabio, his responsibility as a minister included giving honest advice to the President and allowing him to make his own decisions.

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