By Daniel Dafe
The President, Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), Youth Wing Worldwide, Comrade Louis Anidi, has condemned the move by Chief Rita-Lori Ogbebor and Itsekiri leaders to sue the Federal Government over the appointment of Olorogun Benard Okumagba as the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), adding that their opposition is selfish-based and does not represent the overall view of the region.
Anidi in a statement made available to journalists, issued in Warri on Thursday, September 19, 2019, added that Okumagba is the best man for the job.
The statement while describing Okumagba as a prudent finance expert and seasoned administrator, noted that the Warri Urhobo, Delta South born political icon is the right candidate for the exalted position of MD of NDDC.
The Urhobo youth leader took a swipe at Ogbebor for opposing the appointment of Olorogun Okumagba for not being an indigene of an oil bearing community.
He noted that “though the immediate past Minister for State and Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu is not from an oil bearing community, neither is he from an oil bearing area, yet nobody opposed his appointment into a position that is even higher than that of MD of NDDC.”
Anidi pointed out that Olorogun Bernard Okumagba hails from an oil producing ethnic group of Urhobo that has a majority of her communities in the state as oil producing.
He also said that the statement by Chief Ogbebor that Mr. Okumagba is not from an oil-producing area is unfortunate and regrettable, stressing that Urhobos in Warri have two oil producing communities, Ukpokiti and Oteghelle in the riverine areas and Okumagba is an Urhobo from Warri.
Chief Rita-Lori Ogbebor’s claims show smacks of ethnic chauvinism that has no place in the new Niger Delta that is unfolding.
The statement therefore urged the good people of Niger Delta Region to appreciate and applaud President Buhari over his decision to appoint Olorogun Bernard Okumagba as MD of NDDC and to also support the new NDDC boss to carry out his good agenda for the oil rich region of Nigeria.
He condemned the usual tendency of indigenes of the region to write petitions and condemn people appointed to work for the region, rather than support and engage them in finding common solutions to the developmental problems in the region.
Anidi expressed confidence in the capacity of the new NDDC board to make a difference in the lives of the people of the region, given the array of experienced and committed persons appointed by the President.
Continuing, he urged President Buhari to ignore those that “are merely causing a storm in a tea cup over the well intended appointment of Olorogun Bernard Okumagba as MD of NDDC,” describing them “as those who do not mean well for the Niger Delta.”