Several communities in oil rich Delta State have protested and rejected the composition of the board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The communities mainly from the Ndokwa/Oshimili axis of the State are aggrieved over the composition of the board which they said was designed to favour certain tribes in the state.
Staging a protest march to Government House Asaba, the Delta State capital, residents of the communities on Tuesday, urged Niger Delta Governors to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to reconsider the list of nominees.
In a protest letter addressed to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, the communities stated that the Federal Government has continued to treat them “like serfs that hew wood and draw water without any benefits whatsoever and we totally reject it.”
The letter, a copy of which was made available to newsmen in Asaba, was signed by the chairman, John Obi; organising secretary, Ben Elu; and Chux Ozulu, member.
The letter claimed that since the inception of NDDC in the year 2000, the Ndokwa/Oshimili axis of the state is the only oil producing area that has not benefitted in terms of appointment into the board of the interventionist agency.
According to the letter, other oil bearing communities including Urhobo, Isoko, Itsekiri and Ijaw have enjoyed the privilege, at various times, of being appointed into the board, lamenting that Urhobo and Isoko which have been appointed five and four times respectively in the past, were once again considered for appointment in the new board.
“Your Excellency, it may more interest you to be reminded that even with this five offensive demography, the current Deputy Senate President, Minister of State for Niger Delta, chairman of NSITF board and the outgoing NDDC executive director (projects) are all Urhobos.
“To ensure that the plot to take everything to Urhoboland succeeds, the proponents had to sacrifice NDDC board chairman due to Delta State to Edo State whose tenure comes only after Delta State. It was this conspiracy and betrayal that made it possible for them to continue to have everything belonging to everybody,” it stated.
Addressing the placard carrying protesters at the Government House, Asaba, Senior Political Adviser to Governor Okowa, Mr. Funkekeme Solomon appealed to them to give peace a chance, assuring that their message will be conveyed to the appropriate quarters.