There is pervasive anxiety within the corridor-of-power in Abuja and Niger Delta region over the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to send the list of supposed appointees of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC to the senate for screening and confirmation.
Dependable sources said that the anxiety following the fallout of the in-house investigation into the circumstance surrounding the appointment which was controversially made in August while President Buhari was abroad.
Multiple sources told BIGPEN Online that President Buhari was outwitted by a certain ‘cabal’ said to be in the presidential villa in the so-called appointment because either him or the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF was aware of the appointment as they both were away attending the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), in Japan.
The ‘appointment’ which has become subject of litigation and controversy was made on August 26, 2019 through a letter from the Permanent Secretary, General Services, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Olusegun Adekunle, who had in a statement released on August 27, 2019, announced the 16-member NDDC Board as “approved” by President Buhari.
It was learnt that Buhari was apparently angry over the development while he was still in Japan and on his returned from Japan’s trip had directed an in-house investigation into the ‘appointment’.
It was gathered that all fingers pointed toward the direction of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari who is being accused as the one who authorized the appointment.
But Abba Kyari, it was reliable gathered has since denied authorizing the appointment after it was revealed that a certain amount of money in dollars may have exchanged hands for the collation of the list of appointees.
It was also gathered that allegation that a whopping sum of money in the denomination of dollars exchanged hands in the so-called NDDC appointment was one reason that have made it difficult to remedy the embarrassing situation which the ‘appointment’ had caused the presidency.
Sources said that Buhari, miffed by the development may have been prevailed upon by his wife, Aisha who had earlier raised the alarm of existence of a cabal whom she accused of railroading Mr. President into doing their bid not to send that particular list to the senate.
Finding shows that the Presidency, since Buhari’s returned from that trip had refused to made any public comment on the NDDC brouhaha despite the public outrage including queries from the South-south Governors’ Forum so as not to give credence to the widely spread impression that Mr. President was not in control of the APC-led government.
However, it was learned that the APC-led government is finding it difficult to remedy the situation owing to the vested interest in the NDDC appointment.
“This is also happening just like in previous occasions when similar appointments are done without the concert of Mr. President who later find it difficult to reverse such whilst finding another way to boot out the appointee”, our source said.
To prove that the APC-led government actors were in dilemma over the NDDC appointment, our source said that Mr. President, since his returned from that foreign trip had officially made appointment into the Economic Advisory Council, EAC through a letter conveying such appointments and others but that of NDDC which has been a burning issue have remained in the cooler.
Findings show that the senate since it resumed plenary on September 24, had received a letter from President Buhari for the consideration of the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP). The document has since been referred to the senate Committee on Finance.
A source close to senate committee on NDDC headed by Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, disclosed that there is no letter from the presidency conveying appointment into NDDC board that is before the house.
The source said that the so-called appointment into NDDC board was a dead issue, more so, it is a subject of multiple litigation, adding that President Buhari would formally nominate people into NDDC board later but may first give extension to the interim managing director that was put in place in his absence.
Investigation revealed that the so-called appointment into the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC was a smart move that was ‘programmed to succeed but procedurally failed’.
Sources disclosed that security agencies have also investigated the appointment not to have been authorized by Mr. President but were bidding time until senate resumption.
Investigations have revealed that the Secretary to the federal Government of Nigeria, Boss Mustapha, turned down the supposed appointees of the NDDC who were asked to visit his office for documentation and presentation of their curriculum vitae at the wake of their controversial announced appointment.
BIGPEN Online reliably gathered that the SGF who was taken aback like many Nigerians over the supposed appointment left the appointee stranded at the presidential villa.
It was gathered that it was the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari who later directed that the visitors be asked to write their name in a piece of paper after being left with no one attending to them.
“All the persons who came to the villa that day as appointees of the NDDC were not attended to by the SGF. The SGF said he didn’t authorize any letter to be written on his behalf announcing NDDC appointment either did he received directives from Mr. President in that regards.
”So they were just there until Oga Abba Kyari was informed of their presence and directed that they should be given a piece of paper to write their names. That was how they left the villa, nothing has happened more than that till date”, our source said.