The Samuel Ogbuku-led management’s refusal to follow President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s order that the boards of all federal government parastatals and agencies be disbanded may have something to do with the ultimatum.
Coalition of Ex-agitators of the Niger Delta (CEND) members threatened to seize the commission and halt its operations if Ogbuku and his crew did not vacate the building by the deadline.
According to a statement released by CEND and signed by its Chairman, Gen. Daboikiabo Alalibo, Ogbuku and his colleagues are illegally occupying their offices, which is inconceivable and unfathomable to CEND.
“Our President issued a direct order eliminating all federal parastatals and agencies. Since the NDDC is not protected by the Constitution, it was forced to comply with the order.
However, we have learned that conspirators with close ties to the president kept Ogbuku and others on as NDDC managers. It’s against the law to do so. They will be severely punished if they remain in the commission.
Alalibo claimed that it was a misnomer and unconstitutional to let a portion of a dissolved board continue in office after evaluating the scenario and investigating the development.
Presidential commands are meant to be sacred no matter what, yet during the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari, they were routinely disregarded and ignored.
There is no holy cow and no preferential treatment, thus the order of our president must remain. Alalibo argued that NDDC “should not always be a victim of lawlessness,” which is exactly what happened to it during the Buhari government.
According to Alalibo, the current situation is detrimental to the interests of all parties involved including NDDC member states, hence the Ogbuku team must immediately turn over commission management to the organization’s top director.
He urged the federal government to safeguard the Niger Delta’s current tranquility by avoiding actions that could send the wrong signals there.
As he put it, “The current management team of NDDC is illegitimate. The current NDDC board has been abolished together with all other parastatals and commissions by the President. But a group of people collaborated to make Ogbuku the head of the NDDC’s management team, and he is still referred to as the MD.
Ex-agitators have asked the federal government to appoint the most senior director to head the NDDC in the interim while a new board is formed because they do not want the area to enter a new era of instability.
We demand that President Tinubu act without delay. In order to keep the calm in the area, we are giving the team lead by Ogbuku five days to leave the NDDC. If the necessary steps are not taken within five days, we will close the NDDC and barricade the entrances. We will respond to the government’s pressure with our own, and they will be responsible for any consequences.
Now that tensions have arisen due to the elimination of the fuel subsidy, the president should avoid doing anything that might increase pressure from the Niger Delta. Now that everyone is upset, it is Mr. President’s job to keep the NDDC board dissolved or face the consequences.
Wike, the ex-governor of Rivers state, recently brought up the fact that “he was an interim administrator for nearly one year” and that during that time “they were using the place as a cash cow,” as Alalibo put it.