Journalism of Courage

Refusal To Share Fund: Former Bayelsa Governor Roll Out War Tanks Against NDDC Board 

By Amos Dunia, Persecond News

Abuja – The Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is believed to be having a serious running battle with one of the former governors from the region on the one hand and his nominee in the Federal Executive Council.

Pointedly put, former governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Timipre Sylva has openly declare war with the Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba-led Board over attempt by the former to turn the NDDC to his farm house where he can go to at any time to harvest.

Timipre, who was recently left off the hook of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in very baffling circumstances, is believed to have gone financially insolvent and want to bounce back ahead of the next Bayelsa State governorship election by using the NDDC Board to accept his using it as a cash cow or in the alternative get the same Board dissolved for his own preferred nominees.

“When hyenas look after goats and sheep, the result is catastrophic, said Initiative for leadership and Economic Watch in Nigeria on Friday.

But unfortunately for Timipre, his attempt to convince the Federal Government that the present Board is but an extension of the former has failed to sell as the office of the SGF has insisted that a Board dissolved by the President before a new one was constituted by the APC-led federal government after screening and approval by the Senate cannot be classified to be an extension of another.

The office of the SGF, a dependable source told Persecond News in confidence that the Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba-led NDDC Board is not a continuation of the dissolved one headed by Senator Bassey Henshaw, as curiously being canvassed and drummed by former Bayelsa Governor Mr. Sylva and the minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri.

Added to the brick wall the duo of Sylva and Lokpobiri are facing in their desperate attempts to get the NDDC Board dissolved to enable them take over is the insistence of President Muhammadu Buhari that the formal “Dissolution of the board of the NDDC cannot be categorised as a vacancy under the Act.”

A dependable source at the office of the SGF further clarified saying; “Dissolution signifies total extinguishment of the Board, which in simple term means, it simply ceases to exist. Therefore, there cannot be any remainder of any term which a successor is expected to complete.”

Further checks by Persecond News indicated that based on the provisions of section 4 of the Establishment Act of the NDDC, a member of the Board, other than an ex-officio member, shall hold office for a term of 4 years at the first instance and may be re-appointed for a further term of 4 years and no more.

It was gathered that the major challenge the present NDDC Board is facing is its refusal to abide by past unholy practice of sharing the allocation to the Commission without consideration for critical projects to meet the needs of the zone for which it was established to service.

It was further gathered that President Buhari has insisted on real development and stability in the Niger Delta region and specifically instructed the NDDC Board to execute his development agenda.

Checks by our correspondent indicate that owing to the antics of politicians, who are determined to have a bite at the commission’s budget, they are always working to get the Board dissolved. However, unlike past Boards, the present one has not been found wanting or indicted neither has it violated any rules, a development that Sylva is finding hard to crack.

Be that as it may, it was gathered that member states that made up the NDDC are watching with keen interest, the deft moves by former Governor Sylva and his fellow scavengers that are perceived as known feeders on disunity and precipitators of crisis in collaboration with external forces for their greedy and insatiable pockets.

A member of the Board from one of the South-east States that made up the NDDC Board described the moves by Sylva as “inimical to development” stressing that in devouring trade by batter, the same so called leaders from Niger Delta prefer to defecate on unity of purpose to fortify themselves with reactionary forces that retard good purpose. According to the Initiative for leadership and Economic Watch in Nigeria, “Nigerians must question pedigree of characters challenging the NDDC leadership, their public records apart from putting beads round necks with beaded crowns, parading flashy cars despite poverty around the people. Can they summon a meeting of the Niger-Delta to get support and legitimacy?


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