A group, Vanguard for Transparent Leadership and Accountability, (VATLAD), has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to save his ruling party, All Progressives Congress, (APC), from losing the nine oil states by allowing the substantive Governing Board of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, confirmed by the Senate on November 5, 2019, to resume work.
The group, in an issued statement by the national president, Emmanuel Igbini, said President Buhari has been misdirected all this while, adding the Board does not necessarily have to be inaugurated before it commences work with the latest Supreme Court judgment on the Ondo State election.
“Also, the critical questions to now ask are: Did not President Buhari (Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces) fully comply with section 2(2a) of the NDDC Establishment Act, 2000, in sending names of his nominees to Senate for screening and confirmation?
“Yes, he did; in his letter to the Senate, dated October 18, 2019, wherein he rightly stated: ‘In accordance with the provision of section 2(2a) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Establishment Act, 2000, I write to forward for confirmation by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the under listed nominees for appointment into the NDDC Board, to occupy the positions indicated against their names.
” Did not the Senate of Federal Republic of Nigeria screen and confirm these nominees as required by section 2(2a) of the NDDC Establishment Act, 2000? Yes, it did, when on November 5, 2019, it confirmed all the nominees.
“Therefore, as the Supreme Court stated in its judgment on Ondo State 2020 governorship election, all that is lawfully required for the appointment of members of the Board of NDDC and for the board to commence work have been met since November 5, 2019.
“Also, as the Supreme Court stated, in its judgment on Ondo State election, if it was the intention of the lawmakers to include in the NDDC Act, that inauguration of the confirmed members of the board should be carried before the resumption of duties, it would have been clearly stated.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Section 2(2a) of the NDDC Act, 2000, states that: ‘The Chairman and other members of the Board shall be appointed by the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, subject to the confirmation of the Senate in consultation with the House of Representatives.
“We once more advise President Buhari and the entire leadership of APC to allow this substantive board of NDDC to immediately resume at their duty posts so as not to give reason to the people of the nine oil-producing States voting against APC in 2023 general elections, because the lives of the people have become more miserable, following this refusal to allow this board to carry out their duties to better their lives”, he said.