The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has again hit hard on the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, warning the commission not to embark on development projects in any of the Niger Delta states without first seeking the governors’ permission.
Mr. Emmanuel, who was addressing a security summit for the South-south region held on Tuesday in Uyo, abandoned his written speech mid-way to call out the Managing Director of NDDC, Nsima Ekere, who was present in the summit.
The event was organised by the Nigeria police.
“Let me use this opportunity that the MD of NDDC is here to state clearly that NDDC does not own even a piece of land,” Mr. Emmanuel said. “It is the governors that are in-charge of land.”
“NDDC should not enter any of the nine states to do any project without permission from the governors,” Mr. Emmanuel said.
The governor went on to accuse the NDDC of not executing “even a kilometre of road” in Akwa Ibom, adding that the commission’s projects were being “politicised”.
“So we can actually come together…. The state government, federal government agencies joining together to actually make sure we impact on the lives of people.
“When it is time for politics we will play politics. When it’s time for development, let’s develop and impact on the lives of our people and leave some of these things that we are doing.”
In his written speech, which was circulated widely on the Internet immediately after the event, Mr. Emmanuel alleged that the NDDC was building substandard roads.
“A situation where roads executed by the agency falls into serious disrepair less than a year after it was commissioned makes a mockery of the efforts of government and causes lack of trust on the part of the people,” the governor said in the address, adding that the commission should be advised to step up their project quality.
The NDDC chief, Mr. Ekwere, did not speak at the event.
He tweeted later in the evening, after the event, that his commission won’t be able to achieve its mandate of developing the Niger Delta if there was no peace and security in the region.
Mr. Ekere and the NDDC has for long remained under constant attack from Governor Udom and the supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Akwa Ibom because of the speculations that Mr. Ekere would likely get the All Progressives Congress, APC, ticket to run for the 2019 governorship election in the state.
The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, as well as the governors of Cross River and Rivers states, Ben Ayade and Nyesom Wike respectively, were among the participants at the Uyo summit.