The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to revisit the appointment of the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Briefing newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, the council appealed to the president to help correct the appointment, which to it, negated the NDDC Act.
This is even as the youth council argued that, in accordance to the NDDC Act, it was the turn of Ondo State to produce the managing director of the commission.
Blessing Akinlosotu, General Secretary of the council, explained that the Act stipulates that the MD should be appointed on a rotational basis, starting with the largest oil producing state.
He said the Ondo was the fifth largest producer of oil after Akwa Ibom, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa, all whom, he noted, had produced the NDDC managing director.
“It seems as if the other five states of Ondo, Edo, Abia, Imo and Cross River were just playing slaves to the first four.
“Section 12(1) of the NDDC Act states that “there shall be for the Commission, a Managing Director and two Executive Directors who shall be indigenes of oil producing areas starting with the member-state with the highest production quantum of oil and shall rotate amongst member-states in order of production.
“This clear and unambiguous provision of the NDDC Act means that every member-state shall produce the MD of the commission in a rotational manner, following a sequential order that uses the quantum of oil production starting with the state with the highest production,” he said.
Akinlosotu added that although the section that provides for the appointment of chairman was clearly stated in alphabetical order of the names of the state, the position of MD was not cast in stone as production quantum among states could vary.
He stressed that the appointment of Ibim Semenitari from Rivers state in 2016 in acting capacity for 10 months was strange to the Act that set up the NDDC.
The general secretary further noted that the current MD of the commission, who is also in acting capacity, was also benefiting from the misnomer.
He therefore appealed to President Buhari to revert to the Act and appoint the next MD from Ondo state, being the fifth highest oil producing state and next in line, according to the dictates of the law.
“Respecting the principle of rotation enshrined in the Act in the selection of the MD in the “Fifth Governing Board of the NDDC means an indigene of the fifth highest oil and gas producing member-state should be appointed the next MD.
“It is important to state again that the establishment of the NDDC is to correct the previous imbalances and injustice in resource allocation as well as community representation in the previous commission.
“Therefore, it is imperative not to create a negative impression in the minds of the people and be healed of the wounds of previous marginalisation and imbalance in the sharing of the dividends of their God-given resources.
“The next MD must, therefore, be an indigene of the state with the fifth highest oil and gas production quantum in conformity with the NNDC Act (as amended), and that is Ondo State.
“We use this opportunity to passionately appeal to Mr President to help us correct the anomalies of the past by appointing an indigene of Ondo State as the Managing Director of NDDC in this ‘Next Level’ government,” Akinlosotu said.