Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, a Niger Delta leader and freedom fighter, has asked President Bola Tinubu to abolish the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and reinstate the former Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC).
Dokubo-Asari stated that the OMPADEC, which was established in 1992 to rehabilitate and develop Nigeria’s Oil Mineral Producing Areas, was appropriate, given the existence of oil-producing communities outside the Niger Delta region.
He claimed that the change in nomenclature from OMPADEC to NDDC in 2000 indicated that the commission (NDDC) was formed to address the agitation of only oil-producing areas in the Niger Delta states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers State.
Mr. President, I am grateful and wish to commend your decision to reinstate the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. This decision shows your determination, reflects your deep understanding of the challenges and unique needs of the Niger Delta region, and demonstrates your commitment to addressing them.
Mr. President, I know you are aware that Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission, OMPADEC, was established to rehabilitate and develop the Oil Mineral Producing Areas of Nigeria which had been subjected to the devastating effects of ecological destruction and environmental pollution, this means that oil-producing areas that are not geographically in the Niger Delta, are captured in the OMPADEC programmes.
The change of nomenclature from OMPADEC to NDDC suggested that the commission was established to address the agitation of only oil-producing areas in the Niger Delta states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers State.
Mr. President, I beg you to consider returning NDDC to OMPADEC nomenclature, with its core mandate of addressing issues of rehabilitating and developing the Oil Producing Areas of Nigeria, including Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo, Kogi, Rivers and any other area blessed with oil mineral.
From the foregoing, it is clear that NDDC has no relation with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. Oil-producing areas should be treated on their merit, while the Niger Delta areas of Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, and Akwa Ibom states should be treated solely as Niger Delta from a geographic and scientific point of view.
In a thank you commendation statement he signed himself, Dolubo-Asari thank President Tinubu for reinstating the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, stressing that among all attempts to address the agitation of the Niger Delta, the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs is the direct attempt, and therefore plays a vital role in coordinating and implementing programs and initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable development, peace, and stability in the oil-rich region.