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P/HARCOURT – Host communities of oil and gas in the Niger Delta have come out to correct the erroneous impression in a section of the media that the appointment of the new Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dr. Emmanuel Audu, did not follow the civil service rule.

The host communities observed that the hue and cry emanating from certain quarters regarding the recent appointment made by President Muhammadu Buhari to replace the sacked interim Sole Administrator of the NDDC, Mr. Efion Akwa, was not necessary.

It noted that the letter of appointment duly issued by the Honourable Minister of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Obong Okon Umana as directed by the President directing the most senior Director in the commission to assume office pending the appointment of a substantive board for the NDDC, is in consonance with an existing gazette issued by the Secretary to the Federal government, Boss Mustapha and reaffirmed in subsequent releases due largely to cub issues of non-compliance and the need to put a stop to check bad blood amongst officers in MDA’s.

The group further noted that, key items contained in the provision states clearly that such officers must not have any pending disciplinary issues, adding that this is key and must be guarded jealously taking into cognizance what the region and its people had suffered in the last five years.

In a statement issued weekend in Port Harcourt by the chairman, Board of the Community Development Committees of Niger Delta Oil and Gas Producing Areas, said in the case of the NDDC, it is on record that many of such officers who now lay claim to be the oldest Directors and were hoping to be named as the Acting Managing Director are all having one form of baggage hanging around their neck while some have countless queries arising from acts of insubordination or truancy.

“Dr Emmanuel Audu Ohwavbarua, whose name was announced, was amongst other names that were submitted to the President and his name came out as the only name directed the appointment be made.

“Another thing we must emphasised is that Dr. Emmanuel Audu is very much qualified to take charge and hold forth pending the appointment of a substantive board.

“These officers with baggage think it is their right and have constituted themselves into an opposition that may derail the good intensions of the President and the Honourable Minister. It is a new era in the NDDC and the region, a new era we must all support.

“We will not be in support of persons with questionable characters whom have shown tendencies capable of eroding trust to be handed such an important interventionist agency.

“Therefore we enjoin all our people to give maximum support to the direction the commission is headed under the able leadership of the Honourable Minister and Dr. Audu.

“We urge all those who are covertly or overtly working to truncate a smooth transition to desist from this act and support the effort of the Minister and reposition the commission to its former glory.

“There is no doubt that the CDC is still very much focused and are at the forefront to continue to advocate for the enthronement of a substantive board and we shall not rest until that is achieved, we must only support genuine effort and clear processes that will lead to the aspiration of our people”, Ambakaderimo said in the statement.

In a related development, the Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Engr. Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua has pledged to do the right things at the Commission going forward.

Speaking upon arrival at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa where he was received by Directors of the NDDC, Audu-Ohwavborua stated that under his leadership, the NDDC will always seek to do the right things.

“We will do things right. We will be driven by the progress of the Niger Delta region going forward. We will not support entitlement mentality. It is not just about doing what is good but doing what is right.”

The Acting Managing Director noted: “I am not new to the operations and processes of the NDDC having worked in nearly all operational areas of the Commission.

“I’ve been in the system, so I understand the situation and the procedures. The staff at the NDDC I’m coming to work with are known to me especially the Commission’s senior cadre.”

Reacting to the ravaging flood in the Niger Delta region, the NDDC Chief Executive Officer said that as an interventionist agency, the Commission had a responsibility to cater for the welfare of the people.

“We will address the flood problem in conjunction with other relevant agencies of government such as the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA. The President is concerned and so are all stakeholders. We will intervene to provide the needed succour to ameliorate the sufferings of the people.

On arrival at the NDDC headquarters at the Eastern By pass in Port Harcourt, the Acting Managing Director urged the Directors of the Commission to join hands with him to work as a team to ensure optimal service delivery.

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