Less than 48 hours after the Senate confirmed the appointment of Dr. Pius Odubu and Bernard Okumagba as the Chairman and Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), respectively, stakeholders a former Ondo State representative on the Board of the Commission, Dr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, has accused the Senate of undermining the laws of the country.
While speaking with The Guardian yesterday in Akure, Aiyedatiwa said the appointment by the Presidency and subsequent confirmation by Senate was a major anomaly. He, however, noted that the Senators had only done the constitutional job assigned to them, saying the final appointment is the prerogative of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking on the agitations that trailed the appointment of the Board, he said: “Really and truly, one can simply say that the act has not been followed; that is the truth. The act says the executive position, especially the chairman, is on rotational basis in alphabetical order.
“The last chairman came from Cross River State, which I was part of. And after Cross River, Delta is the next to produce the Chairman. What has just happened is the Chairman coming from Edo State, which is letter E. This is an aberration.
“But it is the prerogative of Mr. President to nominate whoever he wants; it is also the responsibility of the Senate to correct any anomaly. They are not supposed to undermine the laws made by them.”He stressed that the appointment of the chairman of the Commission from Edo State was an illegality, declaring that “in history there has never been any nomination that is so controversial like this present one just confirmed by the Senate.”
He added: “But this is Nigeria. That is why people say anything goes in Nigeria. The Senate made a law; then you are undermining your own law by screening and confirming somebody from Edo State as Chairman when Delta is supposed to produce the chairman.
“Also, if you look at the managing director or executive director, at least one is supposed to come from Ondo State; either the managing director, which we have never had before, or any other.
“But most importantly, the managing director is supposed to come to Ondo State because that will continue to rotate among member states based on production quantum and Ondo State is ranked fifth in the production order.
“The four major ones have produced the managing director starting with Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa-Ibom states. So, the managing director is supposed to go to number five state, which is Ondo State.“But like I said, it is the prerogative of Mr. President and since the President is convinced that that is what he wants and the Senate cannot correct that error, then what do we do? They are the ones in government.”