TheNigerianVoice Online Radio Center

Niger Delta Youths Reject Bassey Dan Abia As MD, NDDC

By Change Initiative Forum (CIF), Nigeria

Youths of the Niger Delta under the aegis of Change Initiative Forum (CIF) have raised alarm over the nomination of a former Board member of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Bassey Dan Abia, describing it as an attempt to return persons who served on the dissolved Board into the new Board just as old wine would pollute and destroy new wine bottle.

In a press conference on Tuesday November 26, 2013 at their secretariat Pott Johnson street in Port Harcourt, presided over by Messrs Genesis Jeremiah and Gospel Tanam, National Co-ordinator and Gen Secretary respectively, they revealed that Chief Bassey Dan Abia served on a former board of the NDDC that was dissolved in September 12, 2011 by President Goodluck Jonathan over alleged intense board room rivalry, incompetence, monumental corruption, ineptitude and nepotism among others.

The youths stated that going by the principles of collective responsibility all members of the Board except, Engr Musa Kwankwaso representative of the North West who resigned in May 2010 are guilty of the offence since they are yet to clear themselves of the allegations.

The youths said they received with rude shock news that Chief Bassey Dan Abia's name has been forwarded to the Senate for confirmation as Managing Director of the NDDC.

The youth said “To drive home our point, we wish to state as follows; on the 6th of August, 2009, the late President Musa Yar'Adua inaugurated an NDDC board made up of the following members: AVM Larry Koinyan – Chairman, Ugwoha Chibuzor - MD, Aginighan P Z – Executive Director Finance and Administration, Arc. Ikpong Etteh – Executive Director Project, Dr. Anuruegbe Ogbonna Jacob - Abia State Representative, Chief Bassey Dan Abia - Akwa Ibom State Representative, Orubo Anthony - Bayelsa State Representative, Hon. Ekpo Okon - Cross River Representative, Emmanuel Ogidi -Delta State Representative, Donald Igiede Omorodian - Edo State Representative, Akeru Ikechukwu Joseph - Imo State Representative, Benson Eniku Omehiu - Ondo State Representative, Emmanuel Georgewill - Rivers State Representative, Joe Jakpa - Oil Companies Representative, Engr. Bawuro Yahaya - Ministry of Environment, Lucky Ntarue - Ministry of Finance, Sen. Tunde Ogbeha - North Central, Engr. Musa Kwakwanso - North West, Alh Asheik Jarma - North East.”

“After about 2 years, precisely 17th Sept, 2011 the Board was dissolved by President Goodluck Jonathan for the following reasons; intense board room rivalry, incompetence, monumental corruption, ineptitude, nepotism. By the Principles of Collective Responsibility, all members of the Board as listed above except the North West representative who resigned in May, 2010 are guilty of the charges Mr President leveled against them when Mr. President dissolved their board in Sept. 2011.”

“In Oct, 2011, a new board led by Dr. Tarila Tebepah was sworn in by Mr President to take charge of the affairs of the Commission. On Wednesday, Nov. 20th, 2013, we received with rude shock the news item on Nigerian Television Authority, the Senate President reading names of nominees for the NDDC board from Mr. President for consideration and confirmation. Among the names read was Chief Bassey Dan Abia for the position of the Managing Director.”

“We wish to draw the kind attention of Mr. President to the Following; the nomination of Chief Bassey Dan Abia into the new board of NDDC is an attack on the sensibilities of the people of the Niger Delta, and questions why the Board was dissolved in the first place, when no court of justice exonerated him of the charges that led to the dissolution of his board.”

“That if Bassey Dan Abia is cleared for that position, then justice, equity and fairness will be subverted, except all members of that board are called back to come and complete their tenure. Mr. President, we take time to bring all these to your kind attention and to caution that it will be to the detriment of your transformation agenda if you start the new management of the NDDC on a bed rock of crises.”

The Change Initiative Forum is calling on President Jonathan to drop Chief Abia's name if his talks about fighting transparency are anything to go by.