Niger Delta ex-agitators have given the Dr. Samuel Ogbuku-led management team of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) five days to either vacate the commission or face their wrath.
The ex-agitators specifically warned that if Ogbuku and his team failed to leave office after the expiration of the ultimatum, they would occupy the commission and ground the activities of the NDDC.
The former militants under the auspices of the Coalition of Ex-agitators of Niger Delta (CEND) insisted that Ogbuku and his team were occupying their offices illegally.
CEND in a statement signed by its Chairman, Gen. Daboikiabo Alalibo , said it was unbelievable and unimaginable that the team could be operating against the directive of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
He said: “Our President gave an express order dissolving all parastatals and agencies of the federal government. The NDDC was affected because it wasn’t among those constitutionally exempted by the directive.
“But we understand that some persons close to the President spearheaded the conspiracy that allow Ogbuku and others to remain as a management team of the NDDC. It is illegal”.
Alalibo insisted that after studying the scenario and investigating the development, it was misnomer and unconstitutional to allow part of a dissolved board to remain in office.
“This is not the era of former President Muhammadu Buhari when presidential directives, which are supposed to be sacrosanct no matter, were treated with kid gloves and flouted with flagrant impunity.
“The order of our president must stand because there is no sacred cow and no preferential treatment. NDDC should not always be a victim of lawlessness, a fate it suffered throughout the administration of Buhari”, Alalibo said.
Alalibo insisted that the Ogbuku team should immediately hand over the running of the commission to the most senior director in NDDC adding that the current status was sabotaging the interests of all stakeholders and member states.
He advised that the current peace in the Niger Delta must be protected by the Federal Government by avoiding decisions that could send wrong signals in the Niger Delta.
He said: “The present management team of NDDC is illegal. The President has dissolved all parastatals and commissions including the present NDDC board. But some people conspired to allow Ogbuku lead a management team of the NDDC and he is still being addressed as the MD.
“We don’t want the region to run into another era of crisis and that is why ex-agitators are asking the federal government to appoint the most senior director to take over the running of the NDDC until another board is constituted.
“We are calling on President Tinubu to take immediate action. We give the Ogbuku-lead team five days to vacate the NDDC for peace to be maintained in the region. We are saying that after five days if the needful is not done we are going to shut down the NDDC and barricade it. It is going to be pressure for pressure and we will hold the government responsible for whatever happens.
“The president should avoid anything that will bring pressure from the Niger Delta especially now that we are having tension caused by the removal of the fuel subsidy. Everybody is angry now and if Mr. President fails to ensure that the NDDC board remains dissolved, anything that happens, he should take responsibility.
“It is unbelievable that Mr. President gave an order and some person close to him failed to heed the order. We cannot afford to see the NDDC being mismanaged again. This was what happened during the leadership of Effiong Akwa.
“He was an interim administrator for nearly one year and within this period they were using the place as a cash cow and the former Rivers State Governor Wike mentioned it recently”.