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President Muhammadu Buhari React on Absence of NDDC in CRS

The absence of a representative of Cross River State in the NDDC Board is an egregious omission:
President Muhammadu Buhari today sent to the Senate for confirmation of the appointment of the governing board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Curiously and surprisingly, the name of the representative of Cross River State is conspicuously missing from the list of nominees.
Section 2 of the NDDC Act, 2007 list Cross River State as one of the States that shall have a representative in the governing board of NDDC.
For the avoidance of any doubt, section 2 (iv) of the NDDC Act provides as follows :
The governing Board shall consist of-
(a) a Chairman;
(b) One person who shall be an indigene of an oil-producing area to represent each of the following
member States, that is,
(i) Abia State,
(ii) Akwalbom State,
(iii) Bayelsa State,
(iv) Cross River State,
(v) Delta State,
(vi) Edo State,
(vii) Imo State,
(viii) Ondo State, and
(ix) Rivers State.
To the best of my knowledge, the National Assembly of Nigeria which is responsible for making laws concerning matters within the jurisdictional competence of the Federal government has not amended the NDDC Act removing or delisting Cross River State as one of the oil-producing States which the NDDC applies.
It is therefore wrong, illegal and unconstitutional for anyone to delist or remove Cross River State as an oil producer under any guise.
I am aware of the Judgment of the Supreme Court that says Cross River State is no longer a littoral State as a result of the loss of the Bakassi peninsula which the International Court of Justice at the Hague in 2002 pronounced belonged to the Republic of Cameroon.
The Supreme Court further in that judgment held that 76 oil wells which were attributed to Cross River State belong to Akwa Ibom State.
But these judgment has no bearing on the NDDC Act.
If the failure of the Federal Government to appoint a representative to represent Cross River State in the NDDC governing board is an act of omission, it should be immediately corrected.
Such an egregious injustice is unspeakable and must not stand.


@ Okoi Obono-Obla

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