Unease over NDDC board, governors spur to meet Buhari

Nine oil producing states in the Niger Delta have resolved to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari over the recently reconstituted board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The governors, who met on Thursday, August 29 in Abuja, however, called for calm by indigenes of the county who have been demonstrating since the new board was put in place.

President Buhari has appointed former Edo State Deputy Governor, Dr. Pius Odubu as NDDC Chairman-designate.

A statement issued by the office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) on Wednesday had also named  Bernard Okumagba from Delta State, as Managing Director of the commission.

The 16-man new board also has as members, Otobong Ndem from Akwa Ibom, who was appointed as the Executive Director, Projects; Maxwell Okoh from Bayelsa State; Jones Erue from Delta State; Victor Ekhatar from Edo State; Joy Nunieh from Rivers State; Nwogu Nwogu from Abia State; Theodore Allison from Bayelsa State; Victor Antai from Akwa Ibom State; Maurice Effiwatt from Cross River State; Olugbenga Elema from Ondo State; Uchegbu Kyrian from Imo State; and Aisha Muhammed from Kano State representing North-West area on the board.

Ardo Zubairu from Adamawa State is to represent the North-East; while Badmus Mutalib from Lagos State will represent the South-West region on the board.

But the governors who met at the Bayelsa Government Lodge, expressed deep worry over the composition of the board.

Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson who addressed journalists at the end of the meeting, said critical issues concerning oil producing states would be tabled before President Buhari at the proposed meeting.

“We intend as a body to meet with president in no distance future. It is necessary we do that so we can maintain the existing peace in our region.

However, we call for calm, because we are aware people have been protesting since the new board was announced,” Dickson stated.

Four governors and two deputy attended the meeting. The governors are that of Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Edo and Ondo, while the deputy governors of Imo and Abia represented their governors.