Dr. Tam Odogwu, a former agitator has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore the 14-ultimatum issued by some ex-militants for the replacement of Ms. Lauretta Onochie the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)Board Chairman with Dr. Benjamin Okumagba describing the statement as tribal and being politically induced.
Dr. Odogwu speaking in Warri, Delta State urged President Buhari not to waver in his choice of Onochie, as the group lack substance, are toothless bulldogs, tribal jingoist, and are being used by desperate anti-Niger Delta political jobbers.
Dr. Odogwu, make these reacting while making reference to a Newspaper publication credited to an ex-militant “Gen” (name withheld) who handed down the 14-day ultimatum to President Buhari to replace Ms. Lauretta Onochie with Dr. Benjamin Okumagba, Odogwu reiterates that there was no such gathering of ex-militants in Warri where a position or decision was taken by any ex-agitators.
He admonished the ex-agitators to be good ambassadors and stop being used by politicians for the wrong motives, adding that it was more honourable to build oneself to be worthy of such appointments than being used by others to discredit a woman and mother who has worked so hard with an excellent and robust academic record.
Therefore, “talking about the bone of contention, he argued that, the NDDC act ‘Board chairman appointment’ was not stated to come from oil producing communities in the state, is not contained in the NDDC act, it is against the democratic principles and norms as the Federal government sees the people of a State as one people and not identifying such characteristic only oil producing communities. Besides Warri South Council Area and where Benjamin Okumagba hails from is not an oil-producing community, they should know that Okumagba’s nomination as MD of the Commission and the board non-inauguration has been taken over by so many events,” he asserted.
According to him, Buhari acted in good spirits and in accordance with the NDDC act which clearly stated zones, areas, or regions for the formation of the board chairman of the commission which must be from an oil-producing State.
Dr. Odogwu noted that the concern of Delta State is for us to send a credible name to fill the vacant position of our Representative to the presidency as Delta Rep of the board rather than ranting and issuing threats that amount to nothing.’
“We should commend Buhari for taking steps to establish the board with an excellent, distinguished and upright woman like Lauretta Onochie as the board chairman after years of battle by Stakeholders calling for the constitution of a substantive board.’
Therefore, he called on all genuine and well-meaning Niger Delta sons and daughters, particularly those calling for Lauretta Onochie’s replacement to stop all forms of distraction, attack and jettison all political, tribal, and personal interests and support the new board.
Odogwu affirmed that the board when inaugurated, would re-establish the democratic administration of the commission as inscribed by the Act establishing the NDDC and thus end the era of autocratic impunity of the interventionist agency.