Header Ads




November 15, 2022

By Comr Lucky Futughe

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), was created by the H.E Olusegun Obasanjo/Atiku Abubakar-led administration to bridge the gap of infrastructural development in the Niger Delta because it is the region that lays the golden egg. The agency has lived up to expectations until recently when the APC-led Federal Government was elected into office with a son of the region as the Deputy Senate President.

The laws that established the NDDC allows only those from oil-bearing communities to be appointed to the Board for the sole purpose of local content. It was predicated on the premise that those from these communities knows the developmental lacuna bedeviling the areas. Hence, sons and daughters from the areas would manage the agency adequately. Successive Governments have followed this Act stricto sensu. Interestingly, the Niger Delta region is inundated with highly cerebral men and women of timber and Calibre with global fame. Therefore, any forms of infractions against her people are met with stiff resistance.

The President Buhari-led administration violated the Act establishing the commission by appointing an Interim Audit Committee. Although, the region was patiently believing it was a clean-up exercise to make the agency more healthier and productive, however, prominent Chief of Warri Kingdom ran to court when they saw the hands of Esau in the form of DSP Ovie Omo-Agege who was trying to undermine the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria because of his personal interest. For the records, DSP Ovie Omo-Agege is the 6th man in the hierarchy of the administration and 2nd in command in the Senate. Therefore, he is very conscious of his plans to undermine oil-bearing Communities on the Board of the NDDC. 

There are several reports that have described the Gubernatorial candidate of the APC as despotic and an ethnic bigot but the moves to transmit the name of Chief Bernard Okumagba to the Senate for screening was an affront to the people of the Niger Delta region, particularly oil-bearing communities. He ensured that his preferred candidate was sent for confirmation against the advice of leaders from the region. The strategic objectives of his botched plans were to serve his parochial (orogunism) interest in his quest to grab power. The Orogun-born Senator's intention was to use the agency to lubricate his moribund political machines. 

While the Deputy Senate President was scheming seriously for his choice of candidate, a prominent Chief of the Warri Kingdom took the matter to court for interpretation of the Act establishing the commission. As the matters linger in court, the smart Akwa-Ibom Minister Godswill Akpabio tacitly in consultation with the Attorney General of the Federation advised Mr. President of the consequences of the proposed screening and confirmation of Chief Bernard Okumagba. President Buhari took the advice of his appointees by appointing a sole administrator which was also a violation of the extant laws. 

The questions in the minds of many Deltans are, what happened to people from the oil-bearing communities in the ruling APC, what was his purpose in recommending Chief Bernard Okumagba, why meddle in Delta South Senatorial District, why trying to create an ethnic crisis in Delta South? These and many more questions require sincere responses when his campaign train visits oil-bearing communities. The oil-bearing communities have received a lot of environmental devastation and the interference of DSP Ovie Omo-Agege in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has created an impasse that has worsened the woes of the people. Recall that, DSP Ovie Omo-Agege failed to condemn the attacks on his people at Owheru and Abraka axis, voted against the electronic transmission of election results, failed to fix the East-West Road, Sapele Eku Abraka Agbor roads.

Consequently, Deltans should hold DSP Ovie Omo-Agege responsible for the crisis he created in the NDDC. While funds meant for development in the region are siphoned to private pockets, the two-time Senator should be rejected at the polls with his fraudulent 'BAND Agenda' that could only attract bandwagon underdevelopment embellished with widespread insecurity.

No comments