The Monarch of Idjerhe Kingdom in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State, His Royal Majesty, Monday Obukohwo Whiskey, Udurhie 1, has told the Federal Government that there was no provision for a sole administrator in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Act of 2000.
The Monarch said any attempt by the Federal Government to impose a sole administrator for the Commission will spark another round of crisis in the region.
He made the appeal when members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists(NUJ), Delta State Council, led by the Chairman, Comrade Michael Ikeogwu, paid him a solidarity visit. He said the NDDC Act of 2000 did not make provision for a sole administrator.
The Udhurie 1 of Idjerhe Kingdom therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, inaugurate the board that has been screened and confirmed by the Senate under the chairmanship of former Deputy Governor of Edo State, His Excellency, Dr Pius Odubu with Chief Bernard Okumagba, as the Managing Director.
“The situation in the Niger Delta today calls for serious and immediate intervention of the Federal Government. I want to say very clearly and loudly that the attempt by any individual or group of individuals to foster a sole administration on the NDDC is totally unacceptable.
“NDDC is a Niger Delta affair and handing a budget of almost N500 billion to one sole administrator is not known to the laws that established the interventionist agency,” the Monarch said.
“Federal Government cannot pretend that all is well when an individual will be made to corner all the wealth of Niger Delta region.
“We also see the Niger Delta Ministry as the ministry of all Niger Deltans. So whatever happens in that ministry too is of serious concern to us,” the Idjerhe monarch added.
The monarch also advocated that the royal institution in Nigeria be given constitutional responsibilities, noting that before the advent of the colonial masters the royal institution was the bridge that brought the people together.
“Today when there are tough situations in the community they will say go and call the Kings. But when everything is fine nobody will hear from the government.
“The National Council of Traditional Rulers should be able to come together and advocate for constitutional duties for traditional rulers because governors will come and go but the king remains. There are certain things that the king will pass to the incoming governor if they have constitutional duties,” he said.
Earlier the Chairman of the NUJ Delta State Council, Comrade Michael Ikeogwu, said the union decided to pay the monarch the solidarity visit to let him know that the union is in full support of his kingship.
He said that the enthronement of the monarch in Idjerhe Kingdom is a testimony to the fact that any man who believes in God and works tirelessly for his vision and mission must surely succeed.
“Your kingship is a special one for us the NUJ because you were one of us before you were crowned. And I believe that you will not be in a hurry to leave us anytime soon.”
“We are convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that your reign in Idjerhe Kingdom will bring development and peace. We know that you are a dogged fighter and we also know that you will do whatever it takes to make this kingdom prosperous,” Ikeogwu added.
Ikeogwu said that for the NUJ to move forward, it needs people like the monarch of Idjerhe Kingdom, adding that society progresses when people of good will galvanize support with common ideologies.
“We want to assure you that the NUJ will support you in whatever capacity we can to ensure that people far and near hear about your good reign.”
“For us in the union, we must take the union from were it is today to where we want it to be tomorrow. But for us to achieve this we need the collective effort of all,” Ikeogwu concluded.