The oil-producing communities of Eastern Obolo in Akwa Ibom State have lamented that the region has been neglected and marginalised despite contributing most of the oil revenue in the state.
The communities said that they have been deprived in many spheres, including denial of appointments and allocation of projects and resources by the Niger Delta Development Commission.
In a statement on Sunday the communities led by their President, Ken Ukoima, alleged that Eastern Obolo is the only core oil-producing community of the state that had yet to have an indigene on the board of the NDDC since it was established.
They called on President Mohammadu Buhari to give the region the opportunity to serve on the board of the NDDC especially now that the position has been vacant following the demise of the Commission’s director of finance and administration, Ibanga Etang.
The statement reads in part, “We wish to bring to the attention of Mr President the arrant and sordid disregard for fairness and equity in the appointment of members into the board of the Commission.
“Recall that the NDDC arose from the ashes of the OMPADEC in 2000. The Act establishing the Commission clearly stipulates that the Board shall consist of, amongst others, a Chairman and one person who shall be an indigene of an oil-producing area to represent each of the member states.
“It also provides for the appointment of a Managing Director and two executive directors. As the largest oil-producing state, Akwa Ibom has served as Chairman, Managing Director, in addition to four executive directors at different points in time in the Commission.
“But since the establishment of the NDDC no indigene of Eastern Obolo has been appointed to serve on the board of the Commission
“Agonizingly, Eastern Obolo is the only core oil-producing area in Akwa Ibom State that has never served on the board of the NDDC in any capacity. Yet, it is the largest oil-producing area in the state.
“The neglect and oppression of Eastern Obolo are not only in the denial of appointment in the state but also in the allocation of the resources and projects within the state by the NDDC and the state government as well.
“This was presented in a statement of protest by the chiefs and people of Eastern Obolo on January 23, 2016.
“The good people of Eastern Obolo shall forever be grateful if your wind of change will blow into Akwa Ibom State and overturn the wicked and obnoxious machinations of the ignoble potentates and give Eastern Obolo the opportunity to serve on the board of the NDDC now as Akwa Ibom still have a chance to produce a director.”