1 Coalition of APC Support groups has expressed concern over criticisms trailing the appointment of persons from Delta State especially the appointment of Managing Director (MD) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Bernard Okumagba.
2 The coalition in a statement jointly signed on Thursday by its Convener and Secretary, Mr Jator Abido and Mr Ebi Eregbene, expressed worry over litigation filed at a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja against the appointment.
3 The case was brought by Mrs Rita Ogbebor and two others Itsekiri sons, Jackson Omasanjuwa and Edward Omagbemi, challenging the appointment of Chief Bernard Okumagba as the managing director, NDDC.
4 The coalition warned that the incessant attacks if not curtailed could affect the appointment of an Itsekiri son, Bismarck Rewane who was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday to serve in the constituted Economic Advisory Council.
5 The statement reads in part; “Our attention has been drawn to a litigation filed by some notable Istekiri leaders at a Federal High Court challenging the appointment of Chief Bernard Okumagba as the MD of the NDDC.
6 “We find this not only as an affront to the unity and peace of the Delta State South Senatorial zone but also a calculated attempt to tarnish the integrity of the person and government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
7 “This kind of attitude puts us as a people who are not united and capable of managing its own affairs. It is disturbing that these individuals who have sponsored all manner of protests in the past against the appointment of Okumagba have failed to point out his incompetence but have rather hinged it on ethnic consideration.
8 “For the umpteenth time, let it be clear to all who genuinely care to know that Delta South Senatorial district comprise of four ethnic nationalities thus: Ijaw, Urhobo, Isoko and Itsekiri and of the four ethnic groups, only Urhobo person has never occupied any position in NDDC.
9 “Urhobo Indigenes in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta South have two recognised Traditional Rulers of Agbarha Kingdom and Okere-Urhobo Kingdom, who both have equal traditional rights and privileges with their counterparts of Ijaw, Isoko and Itsekiri in Delta South Senatorial District.”
10 The coalition urged Itsekeri leaders in Delta South senatorial district to always support the course of its people especially the appointment of Okumagba.
11 It urged the Itsekiri political elites to respect the wisdom of the President in making his appointments, and cautioned against conducts that portray the region as a people who are lacking unity.
12 “The President reserves the right to appoint people who share in his aspiration to deliver on the promises he made to the nation while seeking election.
13 “Okumagba appears to be one of such persons the President has confidence that will drive his vision for NDDC accordingly.
14 “However, those who for one reason or the other opposed his appointment should stop forthwith as the President has yet appointed another Delta South person, Bismarck to serve in the Economic Advisory Council.
15 “Any further opposition coming from any quarters in the region at this point is highly condemnable as it could jeorpadise the chance of the region,” the group noted.
16 It further added that it was curious that people who should know would out of mischief be dissipating energies on opposing the appointment of Okumagba who is not only competent but rightly deserving of the appointment.
18 edited by Celine-Damilola Oyewole/Sadiya Hamza