ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
Rights group, Niger Delta Oil and Gas Producing Communities (NDOGPC) has accused the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, of shortchanging the people of Bayelsa West in the allocation of federal appointments in Bayelsa State.
The National Coordinator, NDOGPC, Chief Preye Olomu, made the allegation in statement on Tuesday where he mentioned the names of recent federal appointees in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state to be persons from the Bayelsa East District (where Sylva comes from) and few persons from the Central District.
Olomu alleged that there was no single appointee from the Bayelsa West District comprising Sagbama and Ekeremor local governments to maintain the equitable balance of federal appointments in the state.
He also accused Sylva of the seeming delay in the constitution of a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) because of his alleged choice of a young man from his district to be the Managing Director of the commission.
Olomu claimed that Sylva’s alleged nomination was causing disaffection and uproar from people of the Bayelsa West District who had been allegedly shortchanged by his ethnic bias against them despite their commitments and contributions to the APC in Bayelsa.
He, however, commended the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for his choice of an Ekeremor son from Peretorugbene, Senator Denyanbofa Dimaro, to be the Managing Director of the forthcoming board.
He, therefore, called on Sylva to step down his nominee, whom he described as being in his 30s without cognate experience in the sector and allow Akpabio’s nomination of a qualified, mature and experienced Senator Dimaro to sail through.
He claimed Akpabio had consulted with people of the district and the state at large before the choice of Dimaro was unanimously accepted in ensure justice, equity and fair play to the party faithful across the state.
Olomu warned that if Sylva failed to heed the warning by rooting for his own stooge, then he should be further held responsible for the factionalisation and crisis that will erupt in the APC.
The warning by the rights group is coming just barely four days after seven traditional rulers sent a protest letter to President Muhammadu Buhari claiming that that Sylva planned to upturn Akpabio’s nominee from Ekeremor, Bayelsa West, as the substantive NDDC MD.