Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe has rejected the nomination of representatives of the states on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC).
The names were sent to the Senate last week by President Muhammadu Buhari for consideration and confirmation. In the letter read last Thursday by Senate President Bukola Saraki, it named Donatus Eyinnah as Abia State NDDC representative while Mr. Tokunbo Ajasin was named the representative of Ondo State.
Senator Abaribe argued that it was against the Act setting up the NDDC to nominate a state representative of the intervention agency from non-oil producing area of a state. Adding that the President should replace the nominee with somebody from Ukwa West Local Government Area, which he said is the only oil producing area in Abia State.
In a related development, a member representing Ukwa West and Ukwa East Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Uzoma Abonta, also rejected Eyinnah’s nomination, saying it was against the law setting up NDDC.
“We have to learn to respect the law in a democratic regime, which has its foundation on the rule of law. Section 2(1b) of the NDDC Act clearly stipulates that those who would be nominated from the states must be indigenes of oil producing states. That is the law, and it cannot be circumvented.”
The people of Ilaje Oil-Producing Area of Ondo State have also rejected Ajasin as the state’s nominee on the board of NDDC.
A statement by the President and Secretary of Ilaje Coastal Areas Development Association (ICACC), Prince Lawson Akintokun (JP) and Comrade Bode Asogbon said the nomination of Ajasin as Ondo State’s representative on the board of NDDC was an aberration.
The statement reads: “The Ilaje Costal Areas Development Association on behalf of Oil Producing Areas Of the coastal communities of Ondo State wishes to express our displeasure over the inclusion of one Olatokunbo Ayotunde Ajasin from Owo as a member designate to represent Ondo state on the Board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“Olatokunbo Ayotunde Ajasin is not from the oil producing area of Ondo state where the position is strictly reserved for in accordance with the provision of the Niger Delta Development Commission (Establishment etc) Act 2000 Act no 6 law of the federation of Nigeria.
“Section 2 (1b) provides that ‘one person who shall be an indigene of an oil producing area to represent each of the nine oil producing states, that is, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross-River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers’.
“Therefore, as a peace loving people, we implore Mr. President to order the withdrawal of the list and replace Ajasin with a credible person from the oil producing coastal areas of Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State. We also appeal to the Senate president Bukola Saraki and other distinguished members of the Senate to take note of this as it will amount to injustice to our people.”