Open letter To President Buhari On Ndokwa Marginalisation

President Buhari reviewing a Speech draft.

Your Excellency, Sir, the incessant marginalisation, undermining, and oppression of Ndokwa people within the Federal Republic of Nigeria emanating from the actions or inactions of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Delta State Oil Producing Area and Development Commission, DESOPADEC, and oil companies operating within the Ndokwa region can no longer be tolerated even with penitential talks.

It is true that Ndokwa is the largest gas producing nation presently in Nigeria and the 4th largest producer of oil and gas in Delta State yet it has nothing to show for it. The concerned indigenes of Ndokwa ethnic extraction under Ndokwa/Ukwani federal constituencies have severally expressed displeasure over the non-inclusion of our indigenes in the list of the NDDC board or even as commissioner in the commission; no Ndokwa representative in the NDDC and DESOPADEC; neither any key appointment in the present Delta State Government; nor a beneficiary of the Amnesty programme as well as scholarship scheme, among others which other ethnic nationalities have been enjoying for many years.

Unarguably, Ndokwa is a peace-loving ethnic nation refraining itself from taking laws into its hands. They are not involved in bombing or vandalising of oil pipelines and installation or any kind of violence to the government or the oil companies operating in their land. Despite this, it remains undeveloped to the highest level.

There is no higher institution nor government presence nor industries to engage our youth as the oil companies in our communities prefer the principle of divide and rule tactics instead of maintaining the local content law.

We hereby humbly bring to the notice of your good offices the current complaint which now threatens the peace, stability and unity amongst ethnic groups in Delta State. The past few months have been characterised by unrest and acrimony among interest groups in Delta State, majorly involving the ethnic group subjected to marginalisation in one hand and the ethnic group unduly favoured on the other hand. Permit us to lead your offices on a short journey through our deep pains in the circumstances of this matter. Delta State, as your good offices know is made up of five major ethnic groups, namely Urhobo, Itsekiri, Isoko, Ndokwa and Anioma [Ibo].

As it is routine every four years, two positions are allotted to the state like every other state in the NDDC coverage area. Since the Establishment of NDDC on July 12, 2000 no indigene of Ndokwa has been appointed as either chairman or any of the board members – not even commissioner – whereas other ethnic groups within oil producing areas in Delta State have been appointed severally. This is notwithstanding the fact that Ndokwa ethnic group has several oil wells and gas plants that supply electricity to about 16 other states; and yet Ndokwa nation lives in darkness. To verify this, there is the Kwale/Okapi gas plant operated by Agip Oil Company. The Ndokwa nation also contributes about 15 per cent of the total oil and gas produced in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria with many foreign and indigenous oil producing and servicing companies like Sterling Global, Energy Oil, Midwestern Oil and Gas, Pillar Oil and Gas, Agip Oil Company Operating in Ndokwa nation peacefully. As it is our nature they are doing so without interruption.

Godwin Omene from Urhobo served as M.D, followed by Aguariavwodo Edesiri Emmanuel from the same Urhobo; with P. Z. Aginighan, an Ijaw, as Executive Director. Finance and Administration; Lambert Kobonye (Ijaw); Emmanuel Ogidi (Isoko); Solomon Ogba (Isoko); Van Elenka as commissioner; Touyo Omatsuli(Itsekiri); Samuel Ajenakewe (Urhobo) and Mr. Ifuwudo (Isoko).

The pendulum of baseless and unfulfilled promises has been swung too far, and we owe it as a duty to ourselves to act as the indigenous people of Ndokwa /Ukwani Federal Constituency, Delta State of Nigeria. We are constrained to lodge this complaint with a view to advancing the rule of law as opposed to the whims and caprices that have operated thus far.

We have eminently qualified persons to serve on the board or as commissioners in the NDDC. We also demand a shortlist of Ndokwa persons for scholarship via the Amnesty programme. We demand the engagement of our youth like other ethnic groups. There is the need to establish a federal university or polytechnic within Ndokwa/Ukwani Federal Constituency. The desire to constantly supply Ndokwa nation with electricity cannot be gainsaid.

Against this dire background, we are constrained to seek redress from your good offices with the belief that this matter would be properly investigated and relevant laws and practices upheld in the interest of justice, equity and fairness.

We are fortified in this position by the provision of the section 14{4} of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as (amended).which provides that “composition of the government of a state, a local government council or any the agencies of such government or council and the conduct of affairs of the government or council or such agencies shall be carried out in such manner as to recognise the diversity of the people within its area of authority and the need to promote a sense of belonging and loyalty among all the people of the federation.”

Notwithstanding, we remain patriotic to this great nation which can never be broken by the greedy ones. We believe in Nigeria, as in unity we stand and succeed together, if our demand can be well considered. We do not want to have no other choice than to fall into the temptation of acting like other ethnic nationalities should our demand not be met after this notice being brought to your attention.

· Innocent Uzorga wrote in from 27 Udaka Street, Kwale, Delta State. Tel: 07033359776,


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