With governor of Rivers State.
By John Mayaki
The urgent need for national attention to address the absence of development and the decay of infrastructure in the oil-rich Niger Delta region cannot be overstated. This is precisely why the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was established with the crucial mission of driving progress and development in the area. However, over time, this agency has seemingly lost credibility.
Now, two prominent figures have stepped forward as staunch defenders of the agency’s integrity. Engr. Abubakar Momoh, Minister of Niger Delta Development, and Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, Managing-Director of the NDDC, have taken on the mantle of guardians, determined to combat the perception of a corruption-ridden Commission.
These two leaders, with their unwavering commitment and resolute spirit, have accepted the challenge to dispel any notion of the NDDC as a cesspool of corruption. In the spotlight, they understand the critical importance of upholding transparency, accountability, and ethical conduct within the organisation.
Abubakar Momoh, who heads the ministry overseeing the NDDC, has declared an end to the era of tolerating corruption within the Commission. He said the era before the Samuel Ogbuku’s leadership of the NDDC, it is understandable. His pledge to depart from the shadows of malfeasance and embrace transparency is not mere rhetoric but a resounding call to action. He stands ready to tread where others might fear to step, and his determination to restore the NDDC’s tarnished image remains unwavering.
The voice of the Minister resonates with unwavering commitment. With steadfast determination, he stands as a guardian, shielding the integrity of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from the scourge of corruption.
In his solemn pledge, Momoh proclaims the end of an era of tolerance for corruption within the NDDC. He signifies a departure from the shadows of malfeasance and embraces transparency and accountability. He declares his readiness to tread into uncharted territory, where others might hesitate. With vigilant eyes from both the public and the nation focused on the organisation, his determination to restore its tarnished image remains resolute.
Having traversed the landscapes of Rivers and Bayelsa States and witnessed the yet-to-be completed and deteriorating state of the East-West Road first hand, the Minister’s heart resonates with a call to action. The dire state of vital infrastructure serves as a poignant reminder of the pressing needs of the Niger Delta region. His commitment to champion the realisation of this road project underscores its pivotal role as a catalyst for regional development.
The renaming of the agency, transitioning from “Niger Delta Affairs” to “Niger Delta Development,” carries profound significance. It signals a shift in focus, from mundane administrative affairs to the pursuit of genuine development by President Bola Tinubu. This transformation aligns with the evolving mission of the NDDC and signifies a commitment to bring about meaningful change.
The minister’s assurance that the NDDC will undergo a transformation under his leadership typifies a man who embodies hope for a brighter future in the Niger Delta. His words reverberate through the annals of policy-making, promising an era marked by accountability, progress, and prosperity for a region that has long yearned for change.
As the minister’s unwavering resolve takes root, it symbolises the enduring spirit of leadership and transformation in the pursuit of a better future for the Niger Delta and its people. His words offer a glimpse into the potential for a region once plagued by corruption to rise anew, guided by the spirit of integrity and development.
The Minister is not alone in this resolve – Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, as the Managing-Director, also reinforces this commitment. His sagacious counsel reminds all stakeholders of the importance of refraining from casting doubt on the institution he leads. He understands that in today’s global landscape, transparency and credibility are the bedrock of successful collaborations. Doubt, whether founded or unfounded, can tarnish the NDDC’s reputation and hinder its ability to deliver on its promises.
Samuel Ogbuku, a prominent figure in the intricate landscape of Niger Delta politics, stepped into the spotlight with his appointment as the CEO of the Commission. Hailing from Bayelsa State, his ascent to a leadership role within the NDDC mirrors the complex dynamics of power and influence.
Ogbuku’s appointment occurred during the tenure of former President Muhammadu Buhari in December 2022. However, as political tides shifted and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu assumed office, the NDDC board faced dissolution. In an unexpected turn of events, Ogbuku was reappointed to serve his full term, a decision that elicited diverse reactions across the political spectrum.
While some advocated for his removal to accommodate loyalists of the new president, Ogbuku’s continued leadership garnered support from influential quarters. Rivers State Governor, Sir, Siminalayi Fubara, and Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State, in particular, commended President Tinubu for this reappointment. Diri’s endorsement underscored Ogbuku’s significance as an “illustrious son” of the Niger Delta region, indicating that his leadership was perceived as beneficial for addressing the region’s challenges.
Ogbuku’s narrative serves as a compelling illustration of the intricacies and shifting dynamics of political appointments, as well as the delicate equilibrium of regional interests. In this ever-evolving landscape, his tenure as CEO of the NDDC stands as a testament to the complexities of governance in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.
Ogbuku, the man who imparts sagacious advice, wants people to refrain from casting doubt on the institution he leads. His words carry the weight of wisdom, for they illuminate a fundamental truth in the sphere of public service and international cooperation.
In our modern global landscape, transparency and credibility have become the cornerstones of successful collaborations. The NDDC, entrusted with the formidable mission of propelling progress and development in the Niger Delta region, cannot afford to bear the stain of skepticism or uncertainty. Aspersions, whether founded or baseless, cast upon it can reverberate through the corridors of perception, tarnishing its reputation.
The significance of preserving an untarnished image for institutions like the NDDC cannot be overstated. In an interconnected world where partnerships with international organisations, governments, and donors play a pivotal role in shaping regional development, credibility emerges as the most valuable asset. Skepticism can discourage potential allies, sowing seeds of doubt about the NDDC’s ability to deliver on its commitments.
Dr. Ogbuku’s counsel serves as a poignant reminder that nurturing trust and confidence in the NDDC’s operations is not solely an internal concern but a prerequisite for attracting the support and collaboration essential for fulfilling its ambitious goals. The Niger Delta region, with its distinct challenges and opportunities, necessitates a robust, esteemed, and trusted institution to steer its transformation.
In essence, Ogbuku’s words resound as an appeal for unity of purpose and an unwavering commitment to transparency. They underscore the profound interconnection between perception and reality, emphasising that building a positive reputation stands as an indispensable facet of the NDDC’s mandate. As it endeavors to unlock the region’s potential and enhance the well-being of its people, the NDDC’s image assumes the role of a guiding beacon, lighting the path toward fruitful partnerships and sustainable development.
Together, Minister Abubakar Momoh and Dr. Samuel Ogbuku embody the spirit of guardianship and accountability within the NDDC. Their actions and words echo a profound truth: safeguarding the integrity of the interventionist agency is not just a matter of internal concern but a prerequisite for attracting the support and collaboration necessary for achieving the ambitious goals set forth for the Niger Delta region.
In this shared endeavor, they exemplify leadership’s resilience and the enduring commitment to a brighter future for the Niger Delta and its people. They illuminate a path forward, where the NDDC’s image serves as a beacon, guiding the way toward fruitful collaborations, sustainable development, and an agency free from the shadows of corruption.