By Codratus Godson
A group is ready to fight the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to a standstill over alleged under the table employments.
This came to the open Monday, January 25, 2021, when a non-governmental organization (NGO) with headquarters in a part of Delta State but with presence in all of the oil region addressed a press conference in Port Harcourt accusing the Commission of what it called ‘under-the-table employment’ system.
In a address presented by the publicity secretary, Aniefiok Ibange, flanked by other leaders such as Henry Okolie, Gabriel Money, and Osaki P. Asobari, the NGO the name of President Muhammadu Buhari is being used to perpetuate the scam.
TAEUN said it’s resource persons described as incontrovertible had just uncovered repeated employment process that is on-going in the Commission. “We have deemed it necessary to let the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, to stop all employments in the NDDC until after the ongoing Forensic Audit.”
TAEUN also urged the presidency to order proper investigation into the employment scandal that they said started with the Akwagaga Enyia-led Interim Management Committee (IMC) and has allegedly just resurfaced under the Sole Administrator, Efiong Akwa.
TAEUN said; “We as Nigerians know that the procedure of recruitment into the Federal Civil Service follows laid down due process mechanism as we have seen and currently seeing different sections of our federal organizations including the Military and para-military services.
“We want to state unequivocally that any employment that is ongoing or has been done in the past that was not advertised and proper processes in line with the norms of the federal civil service cannot be entertained in the NDDC, of all places.
“We want to henceforth warn the Sole Administrator and his supervisor and principal, Senator Godswil Akpabio, to deists from going ahead with using the President’s name as cover by claiming that the President gave them a waiver to employ staff through illegal means.
“We know the President better and as we stand solidly by him to conclude the Forensic Audit of the NDDC. We want to use this medium to let them know that we will not stop until we have assure that the employment of our people into the NDDC is done transparently.”
Giving a background, one of the leaders, Henry Okolie, said the fight is not against any individual. “We are not against employment but for due process to be followed so our children and yours will have equal opportunity in future”.
He said the discovery of the racket is real because the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has already reacted by calling on the NDDC to follow the list already approved. “This means lists exist and secret employments are going on.”
He said it may only be when it does not favour any group that they cry out. “Our stand is that due process should be followed, even if it favours those they want to favour, but let there be a process.”
No response came from the NDDC media team as at the time of filing this report.
Issues by Henry Okolie
– How does NDDC employ workers? Is it under-the-table system of employment?
– Other agencies refer you to a portal, at least, but its only the NDDC that does it by allotment
– We say, stop all further unadvertised employments, follow due process, even to legitimize those already secretly employed.
– This fight is not against any individual. We are not against employment but for due process to be followed so our children and yours will have equal opportunity in future
– Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has reacted by calling on the NDDC to follow the list already approved. This means lists exist and secret employments are going on. It is only when it does not favour any group that they cry out. Our stand is that due process should be followed, even if it favours those they want to favour, but let there be a process.
– We fought this same injustice during Akwagaga time, we are ready to fight it to any logical conclusion.
– We act on what we have sufficient and credible information on. We will go to court, we wont organize protests.
– We are already in court with some other organizations on one matter or the other, including the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC)
– It is a fight for all because you never can tell whose child would be favoured when the right way of employment begins to operate.
– The minister is using the name of Mr President to recruit people but we know that Mr President is not that kind of person
– Frustration: In fact, some of us would prefer an expatriate or a man from as far away as Sokoto to manage the NDDC and do justice to every ethnicity and state than this present charade where if a man comes from one ethnicity, all projects would go there to the detriment of the other ethnicities and states.