*Senate inaction will continue to marginalise our people
By Sandra Onyekwere
Coalition of Ondo state Youths have appealed to the Senate to reconsider the screening of their representative on the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, whose non clearance is making their state lose and remain marginalised.
In a three-page letter of appeal to the Senate, the Coalition of Ondo State Youth Stakeholders (COSYOS) titled the missive: “An appeal to the distinguished members of the Senate on the screening of our NDDC nominee.”
The coalition, a conglomeration of recognised and registered groups and organisations who are the major stakeholders of our great oil producing state, having membership drawn from different strata of the state, dedicated to the ideals of an egalitarian society.
They observed that, “it is our sincere desire to use this opportunity to appeal to the distinguished Senators to help us urgently intervene in respect of the above subject matter with a view to averting any untoward action by the peace loving youth of Ondo State.
It will be recalled that Mr. Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa was nominated by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, since March this year (2017) as Commissioner representing Ondo State on the Board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), subject to the approval of the Senate, but his screening and confirmation is still pending at the senate till
now without any known reason apart from the rumour of a cold war between the executive and the legislative arms of government allegedly occasioned by the controversies surrounding the screening and rejection of Mr Ibrahim Magu, the Ag. Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).
The Board of NDDC has been constituted and running since November, 2016 and the tenure remains the same whereas the Ondo State people continue to record a heavy loss and marginalisation in respect to the affairs and activities of the board. We all know that there cannot be any tenure elongation for the board or any compensation for the time lost so far. Worthy of note here is the fact that since the inception of the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the youth of our dear State have been deprived of several empowerment opportunities available to youth organisations in the Niger Delta Region towards the end of every year which is largely due to non representation of Ondo State in the board of NDDC.
As we speak, it seems both the Executive and the Legislative arms appear not willing to shift ground in the respect of the Magu imbroglio, and as the battle rages on, like the battle of two elephants, it is obvious that the grass (Ondo State) is suffering in no mean measure. While we are not out to intermeddle in the logjam between these two arms of government, we do want to use this medium to make bold to say that Ibrahim Magu should not be a clog on the wheel of development of the people of Ondo State who equally expect some democratic dividends through the NDDC just like other member states.
Ondo State as an integral part of the Niger Delta region has been known for peace. The youth have copiously resisted temptations to be dragged into the agitations that had bedevilled the oil region in recent time leading to loss of huge revenue to the nation. This is largely due to the believe that constructive engagement with government would serve a better purpose for all of us including our distinguished senators whose power it is to now determine our fate as regards the NDDC board membership matter. Taking a curious look at the entire scenario, one cannot say that there is a complete board in place with the absence of three State representatives; Abia, Imo and Ondo States.
Moreso, that decisions are taken at the Board level without due consideration and representation of the interests of these other member states. While we are not looking at the legality or otherwise of the above scenario, we must clearly reiterate the need to view this case from moral, political, social and economic angle as the people of our State do not deserve to be so unfairly treated by government, in this case, the Senate in whose hand (gavel) lies the final confirmation of our nominee.
- That the senate should look beyond politics to consider screening our nominee for the NDDC job.
- That the 8th senate should live above board by showing that they are compassionate and concerned about the plight of the good people of Ondo State.
- That in the interest of peace which Ondo State, an oil region is known for, the senate should act on this matter with a view to enhancing development and youth empowerment which will further foster peace, a known panacea for development in any society.
- That if our nominee, Mr. Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa has met all the requirements, parameters and criteria set by the senate for screening, he should therefore be allowed to sail through the senate screening and be confirmed among other colleagues.
- That considering the irredeemable loss suffered by especially the youth of Ondo State due to the absence of a representative on the board, the Senate should act expeditiously on this matter so that we can conveniently benefit from this year empowerment schemes as 2017 is ending soon
- That the issue of Ibrahim Magu should not continue to hamper or hinder the screening and confirmation of the nominee, rather, the Senate could device other means of dealing with Ibrahim Magu/EFCC on it’s merit and demerit.
- That the board of the NDDC has been constituted before the Ibrahim Magu’s case got to the front burner, which makes it reasonable to allow our nominee to join the rest of his colleagues on the board. In the light of the above therefore, we are passionately appealing to the humanity in the distinguished senators to look inward and consider our request which is born out of our genuine regard for this 8th senate which has contributed immensely to the growth and preservation of democracy in our clime.
Below is the list of the signatories to the appeal to the Senate.