By Emmanuel Afonne
The Niger Delta Youth Council (NDYC) has chided governors of the region for criticising President Muhammadu Buhari over the newly constituted Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), alleging that the Act empowering the commission required them to make inputs.
Media reports indicate that South-South governors had summoned an emergency meeting over the members-designate of the Board of the NDDC made public on Tuesday by the Presidency.
The governors according to report claimed that politics was the only consideration used in selecting members of the new Board adding that it runs contrary to the provisions of the NDDC Law.
But the Niger Delta Youth Council in a statement signed by its National Coordinator Engr. Jator Abido, Secretary, Mr Kede Michael , and Mr Chinedu Livinus, Rivers State Coordinator NDYC, challenged the governors of the region to give account of their stewardship saying that they were responsible for the poor state of affairs in the region.
“We challenge the governors to individually and collectively give account of their stewardship.
“It is sad that the governors have failed to embark on meaningful initiatives and projects that benefit the region over the years but have rather concentrated on building personal empires to the detriment of the region.
“We have been in the vanguard agitating for better deals for the region from the Federal Government and when consideration is given to the region the governors divert the proceeds to their private pockets.
“The Niger Delta produces the wealth of this nation but has remained the least developed no thanks to our governors. We have over the time called for probe of the NDDC management right from its inception.
“Independent findings have revealed that the governors who influenced appointments in NDDC Board in the past, apart from mismanaging state funds also partake in sharing funds of the commission meant for development.
“It is unfortunate that the governors now find it convenient to criticise the President for appointing people of impeccable characters that would oversee the development of the region.
“We challenge the governors to point out the part of the Act establishing NDDC that mandates the state governors to make inputs in the appointment of Boards in a federal system”, the statement added.
The group further urged the President to disregard what it described as ranting by the state governors saying they were confident that the members of the new Board would deliver on their mandate.
The 16 member board has Dr Pius Odubu from Edo State as Chairman and Mr Bernard Okumagba from Delta State, as the Managing Director.
The Board members are Otobong Ndem from Akwa Ibom, who would serve as the Executive Director, Projects, and Aisha Muhammed from Kano State representing North-West on the board.
Others are Maxwell Okoh from Bayelsa State; Jones Erue from Delta State; Victor Ekhatar from Edo State; Joy Nunieh from Rivers State; Nwogu Nwogu from Abia State; Theodore Allison from Bayelsa State; Victor Antai from Akwa Ibom State; Maurice Effiwatt from Cross River State; Olugbenga Elema from Ondo State and Uchegbu Kyrian from Imo State.