Worried by the non-appointment of an Ndokwa indigene into the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC since inception despite its huge oil and gas deposit, Concerned Ndokwa Patriots has urged President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to address the injustice by appointing an Ndokwa indigene into the board.
In an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari and signed by the national coordinator and secretary of the group, Mr. Victor Okwuepusu and Barr. Ben Elu respectively, asserted that non-appointment of Ndokwa indigenes into NDDC since its inception in year 2000 is an injustice begging for for urgent redress.
According to him, among the five oil and gas producing ethnic nationalities of Ndokwa, Isoko, Itsekiri, Ijaw and Urhobo in Delta State, it is apposite to state that since the reconstitution of the NDDC Board in five different occasions the Urhobos, Ijaws, Isokos, and Itsekiris have been appointed time and again except the indigene of Ndokwa ethnic group.
“We are constrained to draw attention to the continued neglects of Ndokwa people in the politics of our dear country Nigeria despite the enormous contributions that we have made in terms of human, material and natural resources for the sustenance of this country.
“Traditionally, Ndokwa people are notably agrarian farmers, growing crops like cassava, yam, plantain, melon, etc. They live in communities that are transverse by rivers and creeks and additionally engage in fishing, rubber and palm oil extraction which have been the major source of sustainable income for the people since the pre-colonial era till date. These traditional means of livelihood has drastically dwindled.
“Due to pollution resulting from the deleterious effect of hydrocarbon exploration and production activities in the area. Ndokwa land is the second most polluted geographical landscape in Niger Delta after Ogoniland in Rivers State.
Okwuepusu further noted that the Ndokwa nation is very strategic and contributes immensely to the economic prosperity of Nigeria as a Nation State noting that Oil was first discovered in commercial quantity in Ndokwa land back in 1958 by the Italian Giant-Agip Oil Company, in a Community called Beneku.
He added that there are several oil and gas exploration and production companies operating in Ndokwa land without hindrance, with a combined output of more than 150,000.00 barrels of crude oil daily and millions of standard cubic feet of gas produced daily.
“Ndokwa has one of the largest Gas Recycling Plant in the whole of West Africa called the Kwale/Okpai Gas Plant operated by Nigerian Agip Oil company (NAOC) commissioned by the former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida in 1987.
The first independent gas power plant (IPP) by an oil producing company in Nigeria was built by Italian giant Agip situated in Okpai in Ndokwa land and was commissioned by former president Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005, the power plant was stepped down into the National Grid at Obosi, a town in Anambra State where electricity is distributed to over ten (10) states in Nigeria except Ndokwa nation where it derives its source.
Apart from non-appointment into the NDDC Board since its inception despite our oil producing status, in terms of other federal political appointments in Nigeria, it will surprise you to know that since independence on 1st October, 1960, no Ndokwa indigene has ever been appointed as either a Minster, Ambassadors, Vice Chancellor of a University, Rector of a Federal Polytechnic or Head of any of the many Federal Government Agencies, Boards or Parastatals.
“We are calling on President Buhari to assuage this ill feeling that exist among our people by appointing an Ndokwa indigene as the Chairman, Managing Director (MD) and State Representative in the new NDDC Board to be inaugurated soon, since it is the turn of Delta State to produce Chairman and the MD.