By Ebi Kesiena
Leader of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) Chief Edwin Clark has insisted that Abia, Imo and Ondo states are be excluded from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
This, he said, will ensure that the non-Niger Delta oil producing states of Abia, Imo and Ondo will be removed from the nine states that make up the NDDC.
Appearing on Arise breakfast show on Friday, Clark explained that the NDDC was founded in 2000 and is responsible for developing the Niger Delta region as he called on President Bola Tinubu to remove the states from the NDDC
According to Clark, in the first instance, the inclusion of the three states in the commission was a political aberration.
“NDDC should remain the six original Niger Delta Coastal States. All other oil-producing states should establish a relationship with the oil companies and Nigeria.
“This is particularly true now that oil has been found in other parts of Nigeria including Anambra which is already producing 0.9%, Bauchi, Gombe, Nasarawa, Kogi, and Lagos States.
“They cannot therefore be part of NDDC.
“The NDDC Establishment Act 2000 signed by the then Senate President Chuba Okadigbo outlined the functions of the nine states and who should be the Executive Management. One should bear in mind that the addition of Ondo, Imo and Abia was a political aberration.
“For me to demand for the removal of Non-Niger Delta Oil Producing States from NDDC is for NDDC to succeed.
“The success of the NDDC is the success of Nigeria,’’ he said.
He stressed that there was no reason why Imo, Abia and Ondo be brought into NDDC. “Geographically they are not Niger delta; they are not coastal states.”
“It is therefore, unreasonable, provocative and selfish for Imo which produces only 1.02 per cent quantum of oil to demand removal of the Chief Executives of NDDC Board that has been confirmed by the Senate.”
He however noted that NDDC should be allowed to function within its role for the Niger Delta states, while a South East Producing Commission could be created to cater for the South Eastern states.