by crossriverwatch admin
Let the truth be told that the nomination of Honourable Paul Ada as the representative of Cross River State of Nigeria in the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission by President Goodluck Jonathan for confirmation by the Senate is illegal, wrongful and unconstitutional.
The reason is that Honourable Paul Ada is not an indigene of an Oil Mineral Producing Area of Cross River State of Nigeria. Honourable Paul Ada is from Obudu.
It is a notorious fact that Obudu is not an Oil Mineral Producing Area of Cross River State of Nigeria. Let the truth be told even if heavens shall fall.
Section 2 (1) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (Establishment Etc) Act, 2004, provides as follows thus: “(1) There is hereby established for the Commission a governing Board (in this Act referred to as “the Board”), which shall consist of- (a) a chairman; (b) one person who shall be an indigene of an oil producing area to represent each of the following member States, that is- (i) Abia State; (ii) Akwa Ibom State(iii) Bayelsa State; (iv) Cross River State; (v) Delta State; (vi) Edo State; (vii) Imo State; (viii) Ondo State; and (ix) Rivers State (c) three persons to represent non-oil mineral producing States provided that such membership should be drawn from the remaining geo-political zones which are not represented in the Commission;
(d) one representative of oil producing companies in the Niger-Delta nominated by the oil producing companies;
(e) one person to represent the Federal Ministry of Finance;
(f) one person to represent Federal Ministry of Environment;
(g) the managing director of the Commission; and two executive directors’’.
Section 2 (1) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (Establishment etc) Act as shown above is clear, lucid and unambiguous. The law is settled that where the provisions of a statute are clear and unambiguous they must be given their ordinary and grammatical meaning unless it will lead to absurdity.
If the statute establishing the Niger Delta Development Commission Act has provided for the procedure or method for the appointment of a representative of the Cross River State in the Board of the NDCC; why must the President Jonathan not scrupulously adhere or stick to such procedure or method as laid down?
The law is also well settled that where a statute has laid down the procedure or method for doing of something no other method or procedure is permitted to be used or adopted for the doing of that thing.
However, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP controlled States and Federal Governments have a strong aversion for adhering to the Rule of Law. The PDP has become a bastion of lawlessness. The culture of impunity has been institutionalised by the PDP.
So I am not surprising at such egregious breach of the provisions of Section 2 (1) of the Niger Delta Development Commission Act by the President Jonathan on advice of Governor Imoke because of selfish considerations.
The pertinent question: Who recommended Honourable Ada for such appointment?
Is it Governor Imoke? If it is Governor Imoke, it is bad. It is ridiculous.
The Governor should know better as a lawyer. This is because Governor Imoke as the Governor of the State ought to know that Honourable Ada is not an indigene of Oil Mineral Producing Area of Cross River State.
Honourable Ada is not qualified for such appointment. There must be respect for the Rule of Law. Without respect for the Law this country can never make progress. Respect for the Rule of Law is central to the development of the United States of America and Europe.
So why will the Governor want to short change people from Oil Mineral Producing Areas of the Cross River State just for political expediency?
This smacks of crass insensitivity and arrogance. It is capable of breeding antagonising inter community relationship in the State.
I do not expect the Governor to be using the colonial policy of Divide and Rule in exercising the powers vested on him by the Constitution.
I make bold to say that the policy of divide and rule as a principle of statesmanship is anachronistic.
In the light of the above, I urge those from the Oil Mineral Producing Areas of Cross River State to make a strong representation to the Senate not to confirm Honourable Paul Ada the Representative of Cross River State in the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission.
(Hon. Paul Adah was however confirmed by the Senate on Monday)
by Okoi Obono-Obla
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