– President Bola Ahmed Tinubu
By Ademola Idris
President Bola Tinubu has approved the immediate replacement of Asi Okang as the Cross River State representative on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Ajuri Ngelale, the spokesperson to Mr Tinubu, in a statement on Friday, said Mr Okang has been replaced with a new nominee, Orok Duke.
Mr Ngelale said the president also approved the immediate replacement of the Ondo State representative on the NDDC board, Victor Akinjo, with a new nominee, Otito Atikase.
The spokesperson also announced that the immediate past Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the NDDC, Samuel Ogbuku, had been reappointed for a second term.
He, however, said Mr Ogbuku will continue functioning in an acting capacity pending the Senate’s confirmation of his reappointment.
Mr Tinubu had, on Tuesday, appointed board members and a management team for the NDDC with Messrs Okang and Akinjo emerging as nominees representing Cross River and Ondo states respectively.
However, some residents of the states and members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) protested against their nominations, demanding their immediate replacement.
On Wednesday, for instance, some youth under the aegis of Cross River Youth Alliance held a protest at the APC secretariat in the state, where they were addressed by the state chairperson of the APC, Alphonsus Eba.
Mr Eba reportedly told the protesting youth that the appointment of Mr Okang would not stand because it would be tantamount to grave injustice to oil-producing communities in the state.
The youth said the NDDC Act of 2020 provides that a representative of a state on the board of NDDC shall come from the oil-producing area of such state.
Mr Okang hails from Etung, a non-oil-producing local government area in the state.
Like Cross River State, some youth of the APC in Ondo State, on Thursday, also protested the appointment of Mr Akinjo as a board member representing the state at NDDC.
The youth insisted that Mr Akinjo should be changed because he is not a member of the APC and that his appointment was an affront to members of the party.
Mr Akinjo is a member of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, while Mr Atikase, the new nominee, is a member of the APC.