Yekini Nabena, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has waded into the controversy surrounding the appointment of Mr. Bernard Okumagba by President Muhammadu Buhari as the new Managing Director-designate of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), warning APC members in the oil rich Niger Delta to respect the choice.
Nabena was reacting to a publication by a group in Delta State faulting Okumagba’s appointment over his alleged non-membership of the APC and being Urhobo.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja on Sunday, the APC Deputy spokesman cautioned aggrieved persons within the party against launching a campaign of calumny against Buhari’s choice as it signifies disloyalty.
“From checks, the faceless group is being sponsored by a few greedy power seekers within and outside the APC fold in Delta State. The sponsors of the publication are attempting to portray members and leaders of the APC in the state as irresponsible. This is not true. Okumagba’s appointment was well-received and deeply-appreciated in Delta State and the entire South South.
“As affirmed by the APC in Delta State, Mr. Bernard Okumagba is a foremost party member of the party in the state with registration No: 17949553. In fact, Okumagba was one of the National Delegates that represented Warri South in two previous APC National Conventions.
“Attacking Okumagba’s appointment for being Urhobo is a devilish attempt to sow a seed of discord among the tribally-diverse, yet peaceful people of Delta State. It should be rejected.
“The President besides having the sole prerogative to appoint has undoubtedly based Okumagba’s appointment on his proven technocratic qualities, support and contribution for the growth of APC in Delta State and the entire South South region.
“Since the establishment of the NDDC in 2000, the President Buhari administration has displayed a sincere commitment to train and educate the youths of the oil rich Niger Delta regions to curb hostilities and militancy, while developing key infrastructure to promote diversification and productivity. The appointment of the new NDDC board which is subject to the confirmation of the Senate is another step in the administration’s efforts to develop the oil-rich region and should be supported.
“The development of the Niger Delta should be beyond politics and tribe. I call on our brothers and sisters in Delta State and the entire South South to continue to support Mr. President as he works to deliver the Next Level plans particularly in the Niger Delta,” the Bayelsa-born APC chieftain stated.