Revelations have emerged that following several petitions and court cases instituted against President Muhammadu Buhari, and other issues pending, the president has written to the Nigerian Senate withdrawing his earlier nominations into the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
The reason given for the withdrawal, The Neighbourhood gathered, was to comply with the NDDC Act which Buhari had been accused of not complying with.
The subsequent reversal of Mr President’s decision to withdraw the incoming NDDC Board as earlier sent to the House for screening is not unconnected with the current crisis rocking the commission that was established to address the dire developmental needs of the Niger Delta Region.
This is sequence to the alleged composition of the nominees of the new incoming (NDDC) Board Members to head various positions of Assignments if finally appointed by Mr President, particularly in the case of the Chairman, Dr. Pius Odubu (Edo) and Bernard Okumagba (Delta) as Managing Director.
Meanwhile, the NDDC Act explicitly states that the office of the Chairman shall rotate amongst member-states of the commission in alphabetical order. The Immediate past chairman of the board is Senator Victor Idoma-Egba, who hails from Cross River State. Adherence to the provisions of the Act means that Delta State was in line to produce the next chairman and not Edo State as has now happened.
On the position of a Managing Director, NDDC Act stipulates that the persons must be indigenes of Oil-Producing Areas, and the slot is to be occupied sequentially starting with member-states of the commission with the highest production quantum of Oil.
Owing to the fact that Akwa Ibom State, which is the presently the highest Oil-Producing State just vacated the position, and the position of the chairman ought to go to Delta State, which is the second-largest Oil-Producing, it follows that Rivers State ought to produce the next Managing Director being the third producer of Oil based on current data obtained from the Department of Petroleum Resources.
In the same vain the Governors of the region also Quarrel Mr President and express deep worries over the composition of the NDDC incoming board. Barely few weeks after the Presidency released names of the new board members, Governors of the Oil-Producing States met in Abuja to denounce the composition of the nominees.
Their dissagreement resulted in a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, where it was agreed that to reverse the negative trajectory of the commission now suffering from a credibility crisis due to claims of widespread corruption, there should be a Forensic Audit of the NDDC dating back to its inception.
However, Mr President who noted that his withdrawer of the Nominees which were to serve as Board Members of the commission became necessary pending when the issue of Chairmanship and Managing Director is resolved on the quarter to head various positions of the commission.
In the swift development it should be abondantly noted here that President Buhari as a law abinding Citizen and as well as a listening President in his infinite Wisdom had written to the National Assembly to reverse his earlier nominees when he realised that his actions may likely breached the NDDC Act in his initial nomination.
The source further explained that this was what informed the decision to set up the Interim Management Committee to oversee the Forensic Audit of the NDDC for the periods it will last.