Host Communities Pleads For NDDC Appointment | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Host Communities Pleads For NDDC Appointment

Posted: Jul 5, 2016 at 11:12 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Francis Onoiribholo

BENIN – Oil and gas producing host communities in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State on Tuesday pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the next Commissioner representing Edo State on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) comes from the area in the interest of justice, fair play and equity.

The communities, Obozogbe-Nugu, Ikobi, Oben and Iguelaba(OBIKOBIG) in an open letter to the President signed by Mr. Victor Enoma (Public Relations Officer) and six others, decried the continuous marginalisation and sidelining of the area in terms of appointment since the establishment of the NDDC despite its major production of billions of light sweet crude and gas as part of its contribution to the Nigerian economy.

The communities cited the largest gas reserve in West Africa in Oben and the over 95 functioning oil wells in the area which has been in operation, producing billions of crude oil since 1972 , adding that the strategic  importance of the area to the economy of the nation cannot be over-emphasised.

They said that there were no good roads, water, light to mention but a few in their area despite their huge contribution to the economic development of the country.

They lamented that since the inception of the NDDC; commissioners that have represented Edo State on the board of the commission were from non-oil producing communities and appealed to the President to halt the trend by appointing one of their own as the next commissioner.

The communities said, “NDDC as an intervention agency is being used as a political patronage with appointee solely focused and obliged to satisfying the area and the authority that influenced his or her appointment.

“Sadly, since the inception of this body, the oil and gas communities have often been sidelined and none of our indigene has ever be appointed to the board of the commission despite the pool of highly educated and professional experts in various fields in the area.

“Yet, since 1972 there has been no record of pipeline vandalism, oil theft and other related crimes in the area till date. Is this peaceful disposition not sufficient for us to be considered? Must we always get to crises point before doing what is needed?

“Mr. President, Sir, we are by this letter drawing your attention to this gross injustice as you are not known to tolerate this type of injustice and corruption.

“We hereby forward our nominees for appointment into the board. They are well qualified both within and outside the industry and possess the requisite statutory qualifications.

 

“The obnoxious monopoly of appointing candidates from non-oil and gas producing communities can no longer be accepted.

“We have demonstrated more than enough maturity and patience in our agitation, appealing for a change amicably without success. Yet successive governments had always treated us with disdain and disappointment.”