Oil producing communities in Ondo State have threatened to sue the Federal Government and President Muhammadu Buhari if an indigene of the communities is not appointed Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
The communities which are located in the oil-rich Ilaje Local Government Area, claimed that it was their turn to produce the managing director going by the rotational arrangement provided by the Act that established it in July 2000.
Addressing a press conference in Akure, yesterday, Secretary General of Egbe Omo Ilaje, the apex socio-cultural organisation of all the communities in Ilaje Local Government Area, Mr. Edamisan Ogunfeyijimi, said President Buhari would be contravening NDDC Act Cap 86 if he failed to appoint an indigene of the area as the next MD of NDDC.
He pointed out that Ondo was the only state that has not produced the managing director or executive director among the nine states that make up the Niger/Delta states despite its quantum of crude oil production.
“It must be emphasised that by the provisions of the act that established the NDDC, which make the offices of the managing director and executive directors of the commission rotational among member states in order of production, it is not intended that a state would hold any of the offices twice while others are yet to take respective turns nor does the law allows a situation where only a few state would rotate the offices amongst themselves to the exclusion of other member states.
“Thus, the current news making the round that the president has approved new appointments in the commission, such that the managing director would come from Delta State and the two executive directors come from Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa states would not only be a perpetuation of illegality, but also a continuous slap on the face of other member states.
“We, the people of the oil producing area of Ondo State wish to make it unequivocally clear that we shall not accept anything short of the position of the managing director of the commission, for which we are long due. In the same vein, the position of the chairman of the board of NDDC, having been held respectively by Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Cross River states, the office ought to go to Delta State in the alphabetical order of the member states which the act recognises.
“We, therefore, believe that the proposed illegal appointments brazenly announced when the president was out of the country did not receive the blessing of the president. In the same manner, the Senate, which reserves the power of approval of the executive in this regards cannot be rightly called upon to act in violation of the laws made by it,” he said.