A very vibrant and popular group in the Niger Delta, the Urhobo Political Movement, UPM, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to be wary and ignore a few vociferous and corrupt group of persons who are opposed to the appointment of Mr. Bernard Okumagba as MD of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, stressing that they have a long history of corruption and are looking for ways to perpetrate same.
Addressing a mammoth crowd of supporters during a solidarity march for Chief Bernard Okumagba in Ughelli recently, the group led by its President, Chief Ominimini Obiuwevbi, stressed that the Warri-born technocrat is the best thing to happen to the NDDC, adding that his appointment was not only in line with the Act setting up the Commission, but in tandem with the anti-corruption crusade of Mr. President.
The group said: “Those people who are opposing what Mr. President has done, are corrupt individuals who live in the past, who want one of their own to be appointed so that they will continue to siphon the finances of NDDC to their whims and caprices.
“These are the same people who have been there and they did not do anything for the region.
“For many years of the existence of NDDC, it has been there and it has not achieved its predetermined objective.
So, we call on Mr. President and the National Assembly not to listen to these miscreants.”
The group also advised the President not to be intimidated by those opposing his appointment of Chief Bernard Okumagba, adding that although they said they will disrupt the free flow of oil, but they don’t have the capacity to do so.
“In fact we know that the government of President Buhari cannot be intimidated.
“They have said that they will disrupt the free flow of oil. We are saying that they don’t have that capacity.
“We assure President Muhammadu Buhari that there will be free flow of oil as long as Okumagba remains the NDDC MD”, Obiuwevbi assured.
The group further stated that Okumagba is the only Urhobo man from Delta South to occupy that position, adding that in the past, the Itsekiri , the Ijaws and Isokos of Delta South have produced top executives in the NDDC.
It said: “In the past, the Itsekiri have produced members, they have produced chief executives in the NDDC and the Urhobos of Warri have never opposed them.
“The Ijaws have also occupied such enviable positions, and the Urhobo did not oppose.
“So, now that an Urhobo of Warri has been appointed MD of NDDC, we want the Itsekiri, we want the Ijaws, and we want the Isoko to support the appointment.”
The group used the occasion to congratulate President Buhari for his victory at the Tribunal.
“We want to say again that we congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari for the court to reaffirm the mandate which Nigerians gave to him to govern Nigeria.
“That victory given to him at the Tribunal at Abuja was a victory for democracy”, the group said.
Earlier, the group had described Chief Bernard Okumagba as an avid supporter of Mr. President’s anti-corruption war, adding that his appointment is in line with the provisions of Section 2(2) of the NDDC Act.
“Okumagba stands for the President’s vision to transform and develop Nigeria and his vision to wipe out corruption.
“That President Muhammadu Buhari has found him worthy to be appointed as MD of NDDC, we say a big thank you to President Buhari.
“The appointment of Bernard Okumagba is in line with the NDDC Act 2000 as amended. And the appointment of Chief Bernard Okumagba who is from the oil-producing area of Warri is in order”, the group said.