NDDC Chair Victor Ndoma-Egba (L), Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Usani Usani
Odubo ThankGod|27 November 2016
I recently came across a media report which alluded to the imposition by a certain Minister of a list of his cronies for appointment into the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. It was really scandalous that even Ministers serving under a government that puts public interest first against personal interest and completely abhors nepotism or favoritism would throw to the dogs this high sense of integrity as exhibited by the Head of the administration, President Muhammadu Buhari
Incidentally, the sharp contrast in the character of the President and some of his appointees has become counterproductive to the President's for change from corruption and the attendant underdevelopment to a stable, generic pattern of development in the nation's polity. When in actual, the President assigned the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs to supervise the NDDC, he had perhaps done that to avoid some hiccups that may stand against the perfect or express execution of the commission's mandate.
The Minister would have no personal input of his own to make in running the commission. If he has, that of course would be a mere suggestion. It would very far away from the initial norm of imposition which had been the bane of the NDDC.
Unfortunately, that the Minister would go to the extent of threatening that except his list of cronies was accepted and the names considered, the relationship between the President and the Commission will catch cold under his supervision cast a shadow of doubt about the authenticity of some acclaimed religious and moral inclinations.
The development therefore lead to many questions that are particularly pertinent to unwrap the true nature of the President in comparison with that of the Minister. Does the list emanate from the President himself? Is the said Minister'z action part of the supervisory role handed him by the president?
Obviously , the President's body language coupled with a recent counter that he had been demanding 40% slot in every appointment made so far as revealed during a meeting with APC Governors speak volumes of a zero tolerance disposition against corrupt tendencies by whatever name called. So it could just appear in the case of a ploy by the Minister to drag the name of the President into the forbidden.
The NDDC by the grace of God has the blessing of being manned today by men of proven integrity who have had a track record of service delivery and have the brain and guts to stand against odds in fulfilling their official mandate of fixing both infrastructure and human capital of the Niger Delta region. What they need at this point is moral support through prayers and advice to perfect on the assignments.
To begin to burg them with the issue of appointing cronies and surrogates is to attempt to cage them to think within the box of another man's influence. This is therefore completely at variance with the expectation of a broad based development strategy nurtured by the people of the Niger Delta.
Reports had also alluded to the plan by the Minister to push through subsuming the commission under his Ministry. We are aware but we are yet to fathom why the Minister could set up a committee to assess project handled by both his ministry and the commission over the years and submitted a report to the President thereafter which pinpointed the issue of duplication and the need to correct it by his supervision of the commission.
The recent imposition of his cronies for appointment into the commission has now clearly revealed the whole essence of the conspiracy theory. For the rest of us Niger Delta, we have to realise one thing that unfortunately this son of ours is actually not our own in goodwill.
I am told that his political history is that of fighting even the very disciples he raises and for a man of that kind of reputation to superintend over the issues of public interest as NDDC exposes us to the danger of psychological and political warfare.
How do we come of it? Simple! Mr. President has to intervene by either withdrawing this new role assigned the Minister or better still insist that the commission is independent of any imposition or influence from any public office whosoever.
Writes from Calabar