A prominent Ijaw leader and convener of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, Edwin Clark, has demanded the removal of Abia, Imo and Ondo states from the Niger Delta Development Commission.
He made this call at a press conference in his Abuja home on Tuesday.
Clark said the three states were not part of the original oil-producing states of the Niger Delta, and their inclusion in the NDDC Act of 2000 was a political anomaly. He argued that the NDDC was meant to address the developmental challenges of the region that bears the brunt of oil exploration and exploitation.
He appealed to President Bola Tinubu to initiate a new bill that would reflect the true composition of the Niger Delta. He listed the states that should be in the NDDC as Delta, Edo, Rivers, Bayelsa and Cross River.
Clark’s demand came amid the controversy over the delayed inauguration of a substantive board for the NDDC, which has been under an interim management committee since 2019.
The committee was set up by former President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to oversee a forensic audit of the NDDC’s operations from 2001 to 2019.
Tinubu had promised to restructure the NDDC and ensure its accountability during his election campaign. He also vowed to grow Nigeria’s economy and tackle insecurity in his inaugural speech.