CONTROVERSY has trailed the appointment of board members and management team for Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by the Presidency, as the people of Cross River State have rejected the appointment of Asu Oku Okang as nominee from the state, noting that he is a staunch and active member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Making this disclosure, the people, through All Progressives Congress (APC) Legacy Group and Affiliates, have accused the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamala, of working with the former governor of Rivers State, now Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, to substitute the nominee of the state submitted to the Presidency by Governor Bassey Out, for Okang, who is a crony of Wike.
The allegation is contained in an open letter to President Bola Tinubu, entitled, ‘Appointment of Board Members to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC): Matters Arising,’ signed by the Chairman of the Group, Asuquo Ani Okokon.
The Group, which expressed displeasure over this development, noted it was the same thing that played out during the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari, that now also being repeated.
The Group’s statement reads in part; ‘‘It is rather sad that what has become the order of the day is that the Office of the Chief of Staff and powerful interest within the Presidency and the ruling party’s hierarchy, have turned this process into money spinning exercise, enriching themselves by selling these positions to the highest bidders.
‘‘We in Cross River State have it on good authority and with hard facts and evidence that the member representing Cross River State in NDDC board, Mr Asu Oku Okang, who is a staunch and card carrying member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Cross River State, was foisted on the state following the deal struck by the former Governor of Rivers State and now Minister for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, with the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamala.”
The Group noted that this development is an affront on the person of their governor who has made tremendous contributions to APC at both State and National levels. This is as it warned that; ‘‘Sir, any attempt to have Wike to now begin to call the shots in Cross River State APC by deciding who gets what as in this present case will be resisted by us as we have proven within a short period of time that APC is the party to beat in the state.’’
The Group further called on President Tinubu to immediately redress this ugly development by causing the withdrawal of Okan and replacing him with the nominee of Otu in order to prevent growing discontent within the ranks of APC in the state.