The Paramount ruler of Eastern Obolo Local Government area of Akwa Ibom State, Harry John Etebor has called for justice and equity in appointments into the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission and the state civil service.
Etebor, who made the call while speaking in an interview in his palace said his people have been marginalized and sidelined at the federal and state government levels.
According to the monarch, since the establishment of NDDC 20 years ago, nobody in the LG has been appointed into the board of NDDC and no one is serving as Permanent Secretary or Commissioner in the state. “As far as NDDC is concerned, nobody from Eastern Obolo has ever been appointed as a board member, but I know that others oil producing communities like Ikot.Abasi have had three people at different times, Ibeno, Esit Eket have had two people but nobody from Eastern Obolo has ever tested that position.”
He stressed that “Eastern Obolo produces the bulk of the oil revenue in the state. ExxonMobil, Total Nigeria Limited, the Amini International oil limited and the new Nigeria Petroleum Development Company are all here. These communities that have had representations on the NDDC board do not have the quantity of oil that is being produced in our land.”
At the state level he continued, “one area I will like to mention is that appointment into the civil service is on quota. If employment is going on in the state we will not hear because nobody is representing us as Commissioner. The Permanent Secretary position as of right is supposed to be on quota, but in Eastern Obolo, we have no Permanent Secretary.”
The traditional ruler appealed to Governor Udom Emmanuel to correct the imbalance.
And in his remark, the chairman of the Ijaw Youths, Eastern Obolo clan, Mr Festus Adasi, lamented that the Act establishing the NDDC is no longer followed adding that Section 6 subsection 6(b) of the Act specified that Board of Directors must come from oil producing communities but Eastern Obolo is yet to be represented on the board. His word,” NDDC was established since the year 2000 and the Act of NDDC section 6 subsection 6(b) specifies that board of directors must come from oil producing communities but our tears today is what happens in the case of Eastern Obolo?.
Also speaking, the President of a socio-cultural organization “Obolo Me Obolo” Mr. Emmanuel Paul lamented that the people have been forgotten and marginalized, saying the sufferings can only be imagined.
However, an attempt to get the state Commissioner of Information, Mr Charles Udoh to speak on the matter failed as he could not be reached, but the director of Public Affairs of NDCC, Charles Odili, said appointments into the Commission’s board is the prerogative of the President. “It’s the President that appoints sons and daughters of oil producing communities into NDDC board, it’s not NDDC itself that does that. It’s is the duty of the President” he said