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Niger Delta Ex-Militants Threaten Showdown, Gives NDDC MD, Others 5-Day Ultimatum To Quit Office

By DEME AKPASIA

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There is palpable fear of fresh conflagration in Nigeria’s restive Niger Delta region as a group of ex-agitators issued a five-day ultimatum to the managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Chief Samuel Ogbuku and two executive directors to vacate their offices.

This is as the group under the aegis of the Coalition of Ex-agitators of Niger Delta, CEND, declared the continued stay in office of the three members of the NDDC Board after the dissolution of the Governing Boards of all Federal Government Parastatals, Agencies, Institutions and Government-owned companies by President Bola Tinubu as a conspiracy and illegality.

“It’s going to be pressure for pressure and we will hold the Government responsible for whatever happens”, the group warned in a statement by its leader, ‘General’ Daboikiabo Alalibo, NigerDeltaToday, a regional online newspaper, reports.

The ex-agitators said failure of Ogbuku and his management team to quit their offices within the five days ultimatum handed to them will compel CEND to occupy the headquarters of the interventionist Commission in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

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“Our President gave an express order dissolving all Parastatals and Agencies of the Federal Government. The NDDC was affected because it wasn’t among those constitutionally exempted by the directive. But we understand that some persons close to the President spearheaded the conspiracy that allowed Ogbuku and others to remain as a management team of the NDDC. It is illegal”, the ex-agitators noted, describing the situation as a “misnomer and unconstitutional to allow part of a dissolved Board to remain in office”.

The statement reads in part:

“This is not the era of former President Muhammadu Buhari when presidential directives, which are supposed to be sacrosanct no matter, were treated with kid gloves and flouted with flagrant impunity.

“The order of our president must stand because there is no sacred cow and no preferential treatment. NDDC should not always be a victim of lawlessness, a fate it suffered throughout the administration of Buhari.

He said: “The present management team of NDDC is illegal. The President has dissolved all Parastatals and Commissions including the present NDDC board. But some people conspired to allow Ogbuku lead a management team of the NDDC and he is still being addressed as the MD.

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“We don’t want the region to run into another era of crisis and that is why ex-agitators are asking the federal government to appoint the most senior director to take over the running of the NDDC until another board is constituted.

“We are calling on President Tinubu to take immediate action. We give the Ogbuku-led team five days to vacate the NDDC for peace to be maintained in the region. We are saying that after five days if the needful is not done we are going to shut down the NDDC and barricade it. It is going to be pressure for pressure and we will hold the government responsible for whatever happens.

“The president should avoid anything that will bring pressure from the Niger Delta especially now that we are having tension caused by the removal of the fuel subsidy. Everybody is angry now and if Mr. President fails to ensure that the NDDC Board remains dissolved, anything that happens, he should take responsibility.

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“It is unbelievable that Mr. President gave an order and some persons close to him failed to heed the order. We cannot afford to see the NDDC being mismanaged again. This was what happened during the leadership of Effiong Akwa.

“He was an interim administrator for nearly one year and within this period they were using the place as a cash cow and the former Rivers State Governor Wike mentioned it recently”.

CEND insisted that the Ogbuku team should immediately hand over the running of the Commission to the most senior director as the current status was sabotaging the interests of all stakeholders and member States.

It cautioned that the prevailing peace in the Niger Delta must be protected by the Federal Government by avoiding decisions that could send wrong signals in the region.

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