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Abia, Ondo stakeholders reject NDDC nominees

By Iyabo Lawal (Ibadan) and Azimazi Momoh Jimoh (Abuja)
25 July 2016   |   4:05 am
Stakeholders of oil producing communities in Abia and Ondo states have kicked against nomination of representatives of the states on the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission...

bukola-saraki

Stakeholders of oil producing communities in Abia and Ondo states have kicked against nomination of representatives of the states on the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC). The names were forwarded to the Senate last week by President Muhammadu Buhari.

A letter from the President read by Senate President Bukola Saraki last week gave the nominee for Abia as Donatus Eyinnah, while Mrs. Tokunbo Ajasin was named representative for Ondo State.

But the senator representing Abia South Senatorial District in the Upper Chamber, Enyinnaya Abaribe, has rejected the nomination, saying that the appointment of a candidate outside the oil producing area of the state was against the law.

Abaribe, who spoke on behalf of his people, said the President should replace the nominee with somebody from Ukwa West Local Council, which he said, is the only oil producing area in Abia State for now.

Also speaking on the same issue, member of the House of Representatives representing Ukwa West and Ukwa East Federal Constituency, Uzoma Abonta, also rejected the nomination of Enyinnaya, adding that the said nomination was against the law.

Besides, the people of Ilaje oil producing area of Ondo State have rejected the state’s nominee on the board of NDDC.A statement from the Ilaje Costal Areas Development Association (ICACC), which was signed by its President, Mr. Lawson Akintokun and its Secretary, Mr. Bode Asogbon, stated that the nomination of Tokunbo Ajasin as the state’s representative on the board of NDDC was an aberration.

The statement read in part: The Ilaje Costal Areas Development Association on behalf of oil producing areas of the coastal communities of Ondo State wishes to express our displeasure over the inclusion of one Olatokunbo Ayotunde Ajasin from Owo as a member-designate to represent Ondo State on the board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

“The said Olatokunbo Ayotunde Ajasin is not from the oil producing area of Ondo State where the position is strictly reserved for in accordance with the provision of the Niger Delta Development Commission (Establishment etc) Act 2000 Act No. 6 Law of the Federation of Nigeria.

“Therefore, as a peace loving people, we implore Mr. President to order the withdrawal of the list and replace Olatokunbo Ayokunle Ajasin with a credible person from the oil producing coastal areas of Ilaje Local Council of Ondo State. We also appeal to Senate President Bukola Saraki and other distinguished members of the Senate to take note of this as it will amount to injustice to our people.”‎

In the same vein, traditional rulers from the oil producing parts of Ondo State yesterday rejected the appointment of Ajasin as representative of the state. They also insisted that it is the turn of the state to produce the commission’s managing director.

The monarchs, who stated their position in a statement on their behalf by the Olu of Igbokoda, Oba Odidiomo Afolabi Oladimeji; the Alagbo of Odo- Nla, Oba Elias Ikuomola and the Olubo of Obe-Nla, Oba Andrew Ikuesan, said the appointment of Ajasin into the board of the commission was a violation of the NDDC Act as the nominee is not from the oil producing part of the state.The traditional rulers, therefore, appealed to the Senate not to screen the appointee.