By Wilson Ruvwoghor
So, Governors of Bayelsa, Ondo, Edo, Akwa Ibom and those of two other states, represented, flew to Abuja, at their respective states’ expense, to claim a right over Niger Delta they know, full well, they don’t have.
Seriously, to express their sheer selfish bitterness over not having a say in the partisan appointment of a new Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by APC led federal government, these governors wasted their states’ commonwealth to stage some drama they called meeting in Abuja.
And at the end of that drama, Seriake Dickson would, on behalf of his loafer colleagues, tell the press that they left their respective seats of authority all the way to Abuja, to seek planned audience with President Muhammadu Buhari to cry before him that the latest nominations into the NDDC board, “do not reflect effective governance mechanism”. They probably also believed they sounded convincing when Dickson said their meaningless trip to Abuja was imperative following “protests that arose from stakeholders across the nine member states of the NDDC.”
To Dickson, the chief spokesman, when has it become N’Delta Governors’s right to reject or accept NDDC appointments? Where are the constitutional provisions, ever made at what point in time, empowering the governors to veto presidential nominations into NDDC board? Dickson and co don’t have to answer any of these posers. It’s not important they respond, because no matter the strength of defense, they have no statutory right to raise issues.
However, here are pertinent questions Dickson must clarify, first, with what he meant with the play on words that the appointments “do not reflect effective governance mechanism”. NDDC, following the conspiracy that removed technocrat foundation Managing Director, Godwin Omene, for refusal to share set funds among politicians, has become a cash cow where the ruling party leaders appoints fronts to pile funds to swell their private vaults and to run next elections.
All the years PDP perfected this derailment of NDDC from a regional interventionist development agency to conduit for enriching power brokers of the ruling party, the governors of the region, virtually all PDP then, never saw failure to reflect “effective governance structure” in the board appointments. Now, they expect us to cheer them on their selfish bitterness with the recent appointments. Aside not having any statutory right to veto board appointments into NDDC, do the governors of the region even have the moral right to raise issues, what with the impunity with which they mismanagement the commonwealth of their respective states?
Yet on moral ground, it is instructive that some names, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for instance, didn’t gain prominence in the Abuja drama, otherwise it would have been a clear case of the kettle calling the pot black. Over in Delta, Okowa’s impunity in the appointment of an Itsekiri man as Chairman of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, against the rotational turn of Urhobo as backed by the establishing law, obviously failed to reflect “effective governance structure” far more than Dickson and co perceive to have spotted in NDDC.
In the final analysis, the Dickson-led governors protest to Abuja over NDDC board appointments was not only frivolous and shameful, it is also a financial crime in that they wasted their respective state funds on a jolly ride bearing no benefits, returns for the Niger Delta. So, EFCC, arrest them!
Mr. Ruvwoghor wrote from Ughelli, Delta State.