Which NDDC board is to be reconstituted?
Sir: In the buildup to the imminent inauguration of a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, perplexing calls for the commission’s board “to be constituted” this way or, “reconstituted” that way have been shouted over the rooftops by all manner of interest groups from all manner of quarters. Yet, if one may ask, the board of which commission is supposed to be “constituted” or indeed, “reconstituted” for that matter?
The notion that the NDDC currently lacks a substantive board is a lie and could only possibly ring true in a clime like ours where the peddling and maintenance of diabolical falsehoods have bizarrely claimed centre stage as some sort of national ethos.
As far as the law is concerned, the NDDC already has a substantive board constituted by no less an authority than the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic and duly screened and confirmed by no less an authority than the Senate of that same republic!
It is unfortunate that it required the intervention of Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo) to bring about a return to the path of legality in the governance of the commission, a situation which can only serve to reinforce the notion that without violence or, at any rate, its threat, Niger Deltans should never expect justice within a Nigeria, whose development and sustenance they have, pound for pound, by far been the greatest contributors to.
This is even more pertinent against the backdrop of mounting nationwide insecurities, ever-deepening divisions and quite unsettling from all points of the Nigerian compass.
In the first place, the inauguration of the substantive board of the commission is aimed at correcting blatant illegality by bringing to a close its administration contrary to law, in which case, it certainly cannot be that it is purposed to correct illegality by its replacement with another illegality!
Given the pendency, at this very moment, of a substantive board nominated by Mr. President and, confirmed by the Senate, the same President, cannot then be misguided into assaulting the constitution and, breaking the law by purporting to constitute or reconstitute the NDDC board and proceed to send a new list to the Senate all over again.
For the avoidance of all doubt, short of the entire board resigning even before it has been inaugurated, there is simply no lawful means available to us for reconstituting that already existing board or, simply pretending it doesn’t exist and constituting a fresh board. There is already a substantive board of the commission in waiting and it should be inaugurated first thing tomorrow morning.
Jesutega Onokpasa writes from Warri
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