ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
An advocacy group, the Movement for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta (MSDND), has sent a protest letter to President Muhammadu Buhari over the alleged plot to sack the Interim Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Effiong Akwa, and appoint another to oversee the affairs of the agency.
The group, which said the plot was totally unacceptable, insisted that the people of the Niger Delta would resist the plot.
It said the people of the region would only compromise if Akwa was removed and replaced with the immediate constitution of a substantive board for the commission as demanded by the NDDC Act.
The MSDND, in its letter to President Buhari and signed by its National Coordinator, Chief Ayibatekena Olodin, alleged that some unscrupulous politicians were again plotting the sack of Akwa and to be replaced with another interim administrator.
The group insisted that the situation would be resisted with vehemence by the people of the region, saying the people were firmly against the appointment of a new interim administrator for the intervention agency.
The MSDND urged President Buhari, to instead, allow Akwa to remain as Interim Administrator until he appoints a substantive NDDC board in the interest of the people.
The group said any new appointment of a new Interim Administrator would set the region further backwards.
The letter reads in part: “We have observed that in the seven years of your administration, a substantive board of the NDDC has never been constituted. Instead of constituting a board, all we have had under your administration is a dramatic monologue of confusion and administrative brouhaha.
“Many Niger Delta stakeholders have written, and others have protested against the continued use of the affairs of the NDDC as a comic relief for an already tense polity. The lack of a substantive NDDC board has robbed the region of over seven years of substantive representation, economic growth and development.
“Mr. President, kindly ignore these wicked politicians from the region that are against the immediate re-constitution of a substantive board for the region. They have failed the people in the region and want to plunge the administration of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) against the people of the region given the abysmal rating of the ruling party in the region.
Therefore continuing on this path and relying on these scrupulous politicians’ advice will only lead to failures in the coming 2023 presidential election.
“Instead of acceding to the provocative plan of anti-APC politicians for the sack of Effiong Akwa and replace him with another interim administrator, it is better for Mr. President to salvage the falling rating of his administration and that of his party by appointing a substantive board to complete the announced sanitisation of the commission.
“We are writing to you, Your Excellency, to appoint a substantive NDDC board and in the meantime, to direct the Interim Administrator Effiong Akwa to make outstanding payments to the suffering Niger Delta contractors who have lost so much as many of their businesses and properties were confiscated by banks for failure to repay the loans they took to fund their NDDC jobs. Many others have died in penury and left their siblings devastated.”