By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.
Traditional rulers from the oil producing parts of Ondo State weekend kicked against the appointment of Mr Tokunbo Ajasin as the representative of the state into the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The royal fathers in a statement signed by the Olu of Igbokoda, Oba Odidiomo Afolabi Oladimeji, the Alagbo of Odo-Nla, Oba Elias Ikuomola and the Olugbo of Obe-Nla, Oba Andrew Ikuesan and made available to journalists in Ibadan also insisted that it is the turn of Ondo State to produce NDDC’s Managing Director and they are not ready to settle for anything less.
According to the traditional rulers, the appointment of Mr Ajasin into the NDDC board was a violation of the “NDDC Act as the nominee is not from the oil producing part of the state”.
They urged the Senate not to screen Mr Tokunbo Ajasin as an appointee from Ondo State as doing so would “amount to robbing Peter to pay Paul.”
“We want to say that our people at an emergency meeting rejected vehemently the choice of Mr Olatokunbo Ayotunde Ajasin. The law establishing the NDDC talked about oil producing areas and clearly states that the appointment of the board members shall be made from the oil producing areas and not from the state,” they said.
The royal fathers declared that Olatokunbo Ajasin hailed from Owo in Ondo state “which is not an oil producing community”.
On the demand for the NNDC Managing Director’s slot, the royal fathers stressed that they are relying on the law establishing the commission too.
“The law states that the Managing Director and the Executive Directors shall be appointed on rotation based on the quantum of oil production. All other states have produced Managing Directors and Executive Directors in that order, except Ondo State”.
According to them, denying Ondo State her own place in the commission “is a flagrant disobedience of the extant law and a violation of the rights of the citizenry”, saying, “we boldly say that we have done all we could to prevent our youths from protesting the injustice and we may not have what it takes to do more than we have done”.
NDDC: Obas in oil producing parts of Ondo State demands MD slot, reject Ajasin’s appointment
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.
“Yes the NDDC Act states that representative must come from an oil producing area,but what is the interpretation of area? Does area mean community? Does the geographical description of a state not qualify to be called an area? By definition; an area is a particular geographical region of indefinite boundary.
“Indigene” was used only once in the 1999 Constitution in Section 147(3) and it was used in relation with State. The said section also emphasised the need to balance distribution of powers in accordance with the dictates of federal character principle. “Consequently, Ajasin deserves the nomination because the two other federal appointments that have come to Ondo State so far were shared between the South and Central Senatorial Districts of the state. Minister of State for Niger Delta, Prof. Daramola is from the Ondo South Senatorial District while our leader, Chief Akinyelure, is from the Central Senatorial District.”
“Demanding that the nominee for NDDC Board also comes from Ondo South is against fairness and the principle of Federal ,”
To me, any bonafide citizen of Ondo State could be appointed as member in NDDC or Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC), while the bottom line is the judicious use of funds allocated to such boards in developing the affected areas and state as a whole.
Of what benefit will it be to us as a state if we replace Mr Ayotunde Ajasin with a non resourceful person from the coastal Areas of Ilaje local government area as it has always be the tradition. Let us think deeply and avoid sentiment.