The Concerned Niger Delta Stakeholders (CNDS) has admonished Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Delta State-born Deputy Senate President, against stonewalling President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees list for Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) governing board, recently transmitted to the Senate for clearance.
In a statement copy of which was obtained by The DEFENDER, the group’s spokesperson, Pere Jackson Zuokmo, disclosed that the call on Omo-Agege had become auspicious in view of his preference for the outdated list, which had his preferred candidate, Benard Okumagba, his kinsman as the prospective Managing Director of the interventionist organisation.
The outmoded list was allegedly prepared and ferried to the national legislature for clearance in connivance with the Deputy Senate President (DSP) but without Mr President’s assent.
Zuokmo further revealed that the inability of the list to sail through thus engendered recension on the DSP’s part, which allegedly prompted him to declare that “no list other than his will see the light of the day at the Senate”.
The group expressed fear over the DSP’s habitual insistence on determining membership of the governing board and other agencies where President Muhammadu Buhari would have normally exercised his constitutional latitude to nominate individuals to such bodies.
“Examples of this challenge syndrome are plethora. One that readily comes to mind is the inability of Lauretta Onochie’s clearance to the Independent National Electoral Commission, where partisanship and sundry spurious reasons were advanced to scuttle that process,” the statement said.
The CNDS spokesperson also cited the instance of an interactive parley with APC faithful at Ute-Okpu in Ika North-East, where he was captured on video preening over his yeoman’s attribute that saw to the smooth adoption of the 2022 amended Electoral Act.
From the group’s submission, this high ranking senator may not be unconnected with the recent appointment of a junior officer as the interim (Acting) Managing Director of the NDDC by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Umana Okon Umana.
“This reeks of deliberate travesty of Muhammadu Buhari’s directive after the disengagement of the erstwhile interim administrator, Mr Akwa. The president had instructed that the most senior director in the commission should be appointed to run the affairs of the interventionist body. Rather, a junior third ranking director, Engineer Emmanuel Audu-Ahwaworua was appointed”, the statement added.
Zuokmo stated that impeccable sources close to Senator Omo-Agege disclosed that he (Senator Omo-Agege) is poised to bloody President Buhari’s nose, as he averred that “he (the senator) is believed to have initiated subterranean ploys to stall the clearing process of the nominees except those he fancies, thereby exposing the commission to continual mismanagement and plundering of its revenue.
“The plot is thickening, as he (Omo-Agege) has engaged lobbyists including a southern governor to challenge PMB’s list of nominees, because according to him, “PMB has no right to choose for Niger Deltans”, allegedly boasting that he (the senator) would always have his say and way, because he saved President Muhammadu Buhari from impeachment”.
The CNDS, therefore, urged Niger-Deltans to pray against any iota of confrontation to the smooth sail of the NDDC’s governing board nominees list coming after over 13 months in abeyance.
“Let’s all hope that this imperial senator won’t stagnate President Muhammadu Buhari’s lofty rapid developmental drive for Niger Delta”, the statement said.