Former Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Edo State, Comrade Godwin Erhahon has urged President Muhammadu Buhari announce the shortlisted nominees for the Niger Delta Delta Development Commission (NNDC) Board almost two years after they were duly screened by the National Assembly.
His advice comes days after Niger Delta ex-agitators to the Federal government to either inaugurate the Board or face crisis.
Erhahon who is also a former Chairman of the defunct Congress of Progressives Change (CPC), tasked the President to resist temptation from enemies of progress within his government who desperately want to derail the administration.
Recall that in November 2019, the Senate confirmed 15 nominees for the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
They include the Chairman, Pius Odubu (Edo); Managing Director, Bernard Okumagba (Delta); Executive Director Projects, Otobong Ndem (Akwa Ibom); Executive Director Finance and Admin, Maxwell Okoh (Bayelsa); Delta State representative, Jones Erue; Victor Ekhatar (Edo) and Nwogu Nwogu (Abia).
Others are Theodore Allison (Bayelsa); Victor Antai (Akwa Ibom); Maurice Effiwatt (Cross River); Olugbenga Elema Ondo); Uchegbu Kyrian (Imo); Northwest Rep, Aisha Muhammed (Kano); Northeast Rep, Ardo Zubairu (Adamawa) and Southwest Rep, Badmus Mutalib (Lagos).
The upper Chamber, however, rejected the nomination of Joy Nunieh (Rivers).
Buhari, side stepped the appointments and ordered a forensic audit of the operations of the Niger Delta Development Commission from 2001 to 2019, followed persistent criticisms of the operations of the Commission.
But on Tuesday, Mr. Godwin Erhahon on Tuesday said the forensic auditors were not mandated to suggest whether or not the board should be inaugurated.
He said: “Happenings of the moment compel me to advise President Muhammadu Buhari to resist the temptation from his enemies within his government who desperately want to mislead him into discrediting himself.
“They are those urging him to submit fresh nominees to the Senate for screening for appointments to the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission for which his earlier nominees have been cleared by same Senate but awaiting inauguration .
“They want the presidency to shift the goal post after the goal has been scored and thereby rubbish his integrity as a referee.
“Those recommending this aberration do not wish the President and the APC well.
“Our President may be slow, but he has always been sane , sober and sagacious and therefore , knew what he was doing when he forwarded names of the nominees to the Senate for screening.
“Because the Senate trusted the integrity and sanity of our President , they screened and cleared his nominees for inauguration.
“The delay of the inauguration so far has been due to no fault of the nominees but to the design of the Presidency acting on the ill advice of his enemies who disguise as his friends.
“These enemies want the Presidency to fool itself , and ridicule the National Assembly so that the international Community could have more reason to rate our democracy as a sham
“Most notorious of those trying to make our dear President discredit and redicule his administration is the unworthy Minister of Niger Delta Affairs. Godswill Akpabio, an unpardonably discredited ex Governor of Akwa- Ibom State.
“He appears to me as one who has been prepared by political enemies to derail Mr President from his integrity path .
“He seems to have been succeeding in this evil plot”, Erhahon said.
According to him, “From one illegal management committee to another, Akpabio continued to dribble the Presidency even to the extent of ignoring its nominees who have been cleared by the Senate.
The President has promised to inaugurate the board after the completion of the forensic audit . Now the audit has been completed.
Consequently, Akpabio proved to the world that he is more afraid of the ex militants than he is of the Presidency. What an audacity!
“I therefore advise our President to inaugurate the Chairman, MD and member nominees who have been cleared by the Senate.
“So if the satanic schemers have succeeded in inputting any recommendation for the delay of the inauguration in its report, such extraneous clause should be ignored”, the former CPC Chairman in Edo State stressed.