The battle between the Progressive Governors Forum and Governors of the Nine oil producing states versus Mr. Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, the APC National Chairman has recorded a major casualty with the disbandment of the yet to be inaugurated Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC Board.
It will be recall that the Senate had confirmed the composition of a new board, headed by Edo State former deputy governor, Mr. Pius Odubu as chairman, while Delta State’s Bernard Okumagba was confirmed as Managing Director and Bayelsa State’s Maxwell Okoh as Executive Director Finance and Administration.
Others were Prophet Erue (Delta), Victor Ekhator (Edo), Otobong Ndem (Akwa Ibom), Nwogu Nwogu (Abia), Theodore Allison (Bayelsa), Maurice Effiwatt (Cross River), Uchegbu Kyrian (Imo) and Ardo Zubairu (North-East).
The rest were Olugbenga Elema Ondo), Aisha Muhammed (North-West), Victor Antai (Akwa Ibom) and Abdullahi Bage (North-Central).
But in a twist, the governors of the Nine Oil Producing States staged a protest against the composition of the board which they claimed was done without due consultation with them, in line with NDDC enabling law. The governors accused the APC National Chairman of arbitrary action and usurpation of their role.
In their meeting with President Mohammedu Buhari, the governors requested for the quashing of the board for a reconstitution to reflect the established order in the commission.
Separate legal actions were taken by some persons to scuttle the inauguration of Mr. Odubu’s troubled. All these gave rise to complications which led to the prolonged of due date.
After months of muscle flexing by stakeholders and politicians, President Muhammadu Buhari, today, December 19, 2019 cleared the misty air on NDDC board controversy and sent it packing.
A terse statement report early this morning, confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved that the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to be “recomposed and inaugurated after the forensic audit of the organization.”
It added that: “…the President has also directed that the Interim Management Team of the NDDC shall be in place till the forensic is completed, and that the supervision of the Commission shall remain under the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.”
The statement was signed by the Presidential Spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina.
Already, observers are blaming the disbandment of the board on the overbearing attitude and uncompromising character of Mr. Oshiomhole who they said, mismanaged the nomination process as he has done with several other political issues. They opined that the action of Mr. President is a protest against Oshiomhole’s chaotic regime which has turned the APC to a house of commotion.
Others called on the President to also disband the various boards that have been appointed at the Federal level without the inputs of the governors, especially in Edo State. The group under the auspices of ‘Federated Union of Reformed APC , FURA, queried the rationale behind the various appointments made so far by the president in Edo State.
FURA called on the president to carry out an audit to ascertain the level of transparency in the nomination and appointment of persons from Edo State into Federal Government Boards. They accuse Oshiomhole of undermining the Constitutional role of Governor Godwin Obaseki in the choice of board members.7