Niger Delta ex-agitators have given the management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) a five-day ultimatum to vacate office.

The ultimatum may not be unconnected with the Samuel Ogbuku-led management’s disobedience to the directive of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu that boards of all parastatals and agencies of the federal government stand dissolved.

The ex-agitators, under the auspices of the Coalition of Ex-agitators of Niger Delta (CEND), specifically warned that if Ogbuku and his team failed to leave office after the expiration of the ultimatum, they would occupy the commission and ground the activities of the commission.

CEND in a statement signed by its Chairman, Gen Daboikiabo Alalibo, said it was unbelievable and unimaginable that the team could be operating against the directive of the president, insisting Ogbuku and his team were occupying their offices illegally.

“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. They either vacate the commission or face their wrath.

Alalibo insisted that after studying the scenario and investigating the development, it was a misnomer and unconstitutional to allow part of a dissolved board to remain in office.

“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”, Alalibo said.

Alalibo insisted that the Ogbuku team immediately hand over the running of the commission to the most senior director in NDDC adding that the current status was sabotaging the interests of all stakeholders and member states.

He advised that the current peace in the Niger Delta must be protected by the federal government by avoiding decisions that could send wrong signals in the Niger Delta.

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.

“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, he should take responsibility for anything that happens.

“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,” Alalibo maintained.


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