Contribution: We don’t mind an expatriate or man from far region to run the NDDC for the oil region to develop

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Can a child be so maltreated by his own father that he asks for his mom’s concubine to replace his father so he could find rat heads in his palm. Modern kids wont understand that the biggest pleasure to a child in those days was to find some heads of rats in his palm. The head of any animal killed in his father’s household went to him, and since rats were the most available, he was entitled to all the heads. But, if he had a father who failed to give him this but his mother’s concubine made this plentifully available, the child may vote for the concubine.

This seems to be the state where the people of the Niger Delta is at the moment in their experience with the 20-year-old Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) that came with huge promises. The people are no longer sure where they stand with the intervention agency after about N5 trillion down the road.

The frustration seems to be so heavy that some of them think they would be better off with even an expatriate or even a man from the far north.

Now, employments are said to be going on and many say such offers don’t get to normal citizens. A group known as the Transparency, Accountability, Equity & Unity Network (TAEUN) says the jobs are being shared out to ex-militant leaders and no open contest through advertising.

One of the members, Henry Okolie, said in PH on Monday: “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.”

TAEUN has raised huge issues about how the NDDC employs workers. Is it under-the-table system of employment? He says 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.”

TAEUN’s official press statement signed by its publicity secretary, Aniefiok Ibange, 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.”

The group said its prepared to go to court.

(First used in Port Harcourt by Boat in BusinessDay)

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