Some concerned stakeholders from oil producing communities in Ondo State have expressed grievances over alleged failure to follow due process in the distribution of key positions in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in the past 17 years.
Through the Centre for Justice and Fairness in Niger Delta (CFJFIND), the concerned stakeholders have sent a protest letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on alleged monopoly of the three top management positions at the commission.
They urged the Federal Government to intervene and correct the alleged lop-sidedness at the agency.
Addressing reporters in Akure, the state capital, on the development on behalf of the group, CFJFIND’s Executive Director Alex Kalejaye listed the three positions as Managing Director, Executive Managing Director (Finance and Administration) and Executive Director (Projects).
Kalejaye noted that the development had been causing acrimony between member-states from the oil producing areas.
He said four of the nine states had been rotating the three positions among themselves while the five other states had allegedly been sidelined in the last 17 years.
The four states listed to have been monopolising NDDC affairs are: Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers, while Ondo, Edo, Imo, Abia and Cross River states had allegedly been shut out.
Kalejaye said: “Akwa Ibom has held the positions of Managing Director and Executive Director (Projects) for two terms while Bayelsa has held the positions of Managing Director and Executive Finance and Administration.
“Delta State has held the position of Managing Director, Executive Director Finance and Administration and Executive Director (Projects) and Rivers has also held all the three positions.
“It is sad that Ondo, Edo, Imo, Abia and Cross River have not tasted any of the positions since the creation of the board in the last 17 years.”
The CFJFIND chief said the development negated the Act which established the commission.
The centre noted that a provision of the act stipulates that the Managing Director and the two executive directors should be rotated among member-states.
Quoting the Section 12 (1) of the NDDC Act, Kalejaye said: “There shall be for the commission, a Managing Director and two Executive Directors who shall be indigenes of the oil producing areas, starting with the member-state commission with the highest production quantum of oil, and shall rotate amongt member-states in order of production.”
He noted that “there is equality of states as regards the sharing of these three top management members of the NDDC.
Kalejaye It added: “As of now, it is the turn of Ondo State to produce the next Managing Director of the NDDC.”
This, he said, is because Ondo State is the fifth highest oil producing state in the NDDC.
He added: “Since all the states which have the higher production of oil than Ondo State have produced the Managing Director at one time or the other, it follows that by the provision of Section 12(1) supra, Ondo State must of necessity produce the next Managing Director.”