A coalition of civil society organizations have accused the Presidency of continually violating the NNDC Act. This was contained in a statement jointly signed by Comrades Etifit Nkereuwem and Comrade Opuene Bubaraye, the coalition’s National Coordinator and National Secretary respectively.
In the joint statement, the CSOs pointed out that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government recently set up an Interim Management Committee, (IMC), an anomaly as far as they were concerned, to run the affairs of the NDDC pending the constitution of a proper board..
The CSOs implored the President to constitute a proper governing board to run the affairs of the commission and to desist from his plans to induct an advisory body.
“Our attention have been drawn to a statement by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs for the inauguration of Niger Delta Development Commission’s Advisory Committee by Mr. President.
“We strongly frown at the level of disrespect and disregard of the NDDC Act by the presidency. We make bold to say that Acts are to be obeyed or implemented in totality, particularly during a democratic rule.
“It could be recalled that Mr. President recently inaugurated Interim an Management Committee which is unknown to the NDDC Act, thereby violating part 1, section 2 and part iii, section 11(2) which provided for the governing board and Advisory committee respectively.
“Therefore we urge Mr. President to jettison the inauguration of the Advisory Committee since there is no Governing Board for the Committee to advise as provided for in the Act. We view the breach of the fundamental law and disregard for the NDDC Act as worrisome and unacceptable in a democratic government.
“We, therefore appeal that Mr. President should do the needful as the one empowered under the NDDC Act to inaugurate a substantive Board for the Commission to enable it achieve its core mandate” The statement reads
Continuing, the group which observed with regret that laws were obeyed and implemented at the discretion of public office holders to the detriment of the nation’s democratic government, warned that disregard for laws of a nation could lead to anarchy, chaos.
Imploring the president to help restore peace to the commission, they pointed that, “Mr President cannot continue to ignore the authentic voices of Niger Delta people over the ongoing manipulations, and conflict of interest in the Commission, which is affecting the progress and development of the region.
“We appreciate the commitment of Mr. President to the progress and development of the region; this cannot be sacrificed by undemocratic, unnecessary rivalry and manipulations by the operators of the commission as seen recently.
Pledging their loyalty to the President, the group added, “We pledge our unalloyed support and loyalty to your democratic administration on the strength that justice and fairness shall be given top priority”.