Politics Senate Confirms NDDC's New Board Members

The Senate on Wednesday in Abuja confirmed the new board of the Niger Development Commission (NDDC) just as it cautioned senators against sacrificing merit on the altar of politics.

Sen. Bassey Ewa-Henshaw was confirmed as Chairman, Mr Bassey Dan-Abia was confirmed as Managing Director while 12 others were confirmed as members.

They are: Mr Itotenaan Ogiri, Executive Director, Finance and Admin (Rivers); Tuoyo Omatsulu, Executive Director, Projects (Delta); Mr Ball Turofade Oyarede, (Bayelsa); and Chief Ephraim Etete, (Rivers).

Other are: Mr Etim Inyang Jnr. Akwa Ibom; Mr Adah Andeshi, Cross River; Mr Tom Amioku, Delta; Mr Samuel Nwogu, Abia; and Mr Uchegbu Kyrian, Imo.

The others are: Maj.-Gen. Suleiman Said, Niger, representing North-Central; and Alhaji Abdulmalik Mahmud, Bauchi, representing North-East.

The Senate President, David Mark, cautioned senators against sacrificing merit on the altar of local politics.

Mark said this because, Sen. Wilson Ake (PDP-Rivers), and Sen. Magnus Abe (PDP-Rivers), opposed the nomination of the candidates from Rivers.

Ake said although he was not against the candidates directly, he was against the fact that their nomination did not follow due process.

He said there was a tradition in the Senate whereby, if two senators opposed the nomination of a candidate, such a candidate was not confirmed.

According to Ake, it will be unfair that the nominations should happen without the knowledge of the people of Rivers.

Mark, however, said the rule Ake had referred to was made to prevent nominees from disregarding senators from their areas.

Mark, thereafter, challenged the new board to ensure that they turned around the fortunes of the commission.

He called on the president not to hesitate to kick out any member who was not performing.

He also challenged the Senate Committee on Niger Delta to rise up to its responsibility and supervise the commission efficiently.

Earlier, Sen. Abdul Ningi (PDP-Bauchi), had noted that the speed with which the Senate confirmed the nominees, underscored the importance of the NDDC.

Ningi said the issues raised by Ake and Abe were fundamental, but said that ``we refuse to employ the politics of Nigeria in the matter’’.

He said since it was established that the candidates were qualified, personal issues should be secondary and the nation should be put first.

Several other senators, who spoke on the issue, said that they were in support of the confirmation of the candidates based on merit since they were qualified.
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