By G9ija

As stakeholders await the conclusion of the forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), a pressure group in the region, Ijaw Liberation Front (ILF), has declared that the chairman of the commission’s board must come from the Ijaw ethnic nationality of Delta State.

In making the demand, which contrasts with the choice of the federal government, the ILF said it is the turn of Delta State to produce the next chairman of the interventionist agency.

The Senate had in November 2019 confirmed a 15-member board for NDCC nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari- Pius Odubu (Edo State) as chairman of the board.

The group in a statement signed by its spokesman, Mathew Christopher, said its position was based on their assertion that no Ijaw man from Delta State has held a sensitive post in the President Buhari-led government since 2015 when he assumed office.

According to the group, all the ministers, board appointments, heads of agencies, including the NDDC (Executive Director Project), have been from either Delta Central (Urobho) or Delta North senatorial districts or other ethnic groups in Delta South- the Isoko and Itsekiri.

It argued that the appointment of the NDDC chairman from Ijaw extraction in Delta State would provide a suiting balm for the people who have continuously supported the Buhari-led government.

The statement said: “It is worthy of note that the Ijaw nation has credible sons and daughter who have distinguished themselves and are suitably qualified to hold such positions. Among the numerous names are two notable sons of Ijaw nation-Chief Dennis Otuaru and Dr. Edward Agbai.

“Otuaru has extensive knowledge of the issues facing the Niger Delta region. He is a principal consultant and chief executive officer of Aworowo Global Resources, and a doctoral candidate of Comparative Politics and Development Studies in the University of Benin,” it stated.

ILF stated that he has been a member of the Delta State Waterways Security Council among others, and possesses excellent research, communication, political, business, social, analytical, strategic, public service and management skills.

On the other hand, the group said Agbai also has vast experience in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria with over 20 years’ experiences.

Describing him as a seasoned technocrat who documented his experiences in oil and gas industry in his recently published book titled: ‘Travails: Memoir of an oil and gas field worker’, the ILF said he has both local and international experiences in crisis situation as he spent most of his working life in the oil and gas fields of the Niger Delta.

According to the ILF, he is a resource partner with Smart Alliance Consulting Services in Canada; director of Research International Institute for African Scholars (IIAS) and the Canada Country Representative of the World Association of Academic Doctors (WAAD) with a doctoral degree in management with specialisation in Leadership and Organisational Change from the Walden University in the United States of America.