Former Nigerian Ambassador to Russia and Belarus, Chief Assam Assam, has joined other stakeholders from Eket ethnic nationality in Akwa Ibom State, to petition the Federal Government, seeking equity, fairness and justice in the composition of the new Board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The three-paragraph petition to President Muhammadu Buhari, was addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, and copy addressed to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
The petition entitled, “Nomination of two members for the NDDC Board from Oron ethnic nationality: A case of skewed political maneuvering by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs”, demanded fair and equitable distribution of the positions to accommodate Eket, one of the major oil local government areas in the state.
Part of the petition reads: “We are under the instruction of the entire Ekid nation comprising traditional rulers, youths, women of the four local government areas of Eket, Onna, Esit Eket and Ibeno, to draw your attention, as the chief Adviser to President Buhari to the skewed nomination of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs of two blood brothers from the same ethnic community, as statutory members for the NDDC Board.
“The situation is more disturbing when viewed against the backdrop of the fact that as a former governor of Akwa Ibom State the sensitive nature of this exercise should not be lost on him, leading to the inevitable conclusion that he is out to generate community tension, create bad blood and bring the Federal Government into disrepute in a totally avoidable matter”.
While the petitioners endorsed the nomination of current Sole Administrator, Pastor Effiong Akwa, for acquitting himself so far in managing the commission, they urged the president to ensure the position of the state commissioner be allowed zoned to Eket, which they argued, had never produced a member of the board since the inception of the agency.
In the same vein, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), committed to good governance and environmental justice in Niger Delta has urged President Buhari to follow the path of justice, equity and fairplay by allowing Eket Local Government Area to have the slot.
The Network Advancement Programme for Poverty and Disaster Risk Reduction’s (NAPPDRR) petition signed by the President, Al mustapher Edoho (Esit Eket); Kinsley Ufang, Secretary (Onna); Michael Ufang, Director, Youth Affairs, Mobilisation and Strategy (Onna); Prince Samuel Akwa Udo, Vice President (Ibeno) and Mr. Jubril Uwem Edukere, Director of Operations (Esit Eket), was addressed to President Buhari through the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.
They threatened to take the matter to court if the anomaly was not corrected before the nominees appear before the National Assembly for clearance.
“It is our considered opinion that the nominees from Akwa Ibom State should not come from one ethnic nationality as envisioned by the minister. We advise the Federal Government that we accept the nomination of the current Sole Administrator, Effiong Akwa, to continue as Executive Director, Finance and Administration (EDFA) because of his performance.
“We advise that the state representative should come from Eket ethnic nationality, one of the major oil-producing community,” the petitioner stressed.
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