By UbongAbasi Ise
It was a shocker for the followers of Akwa Ibom politics as Governor Udom Emmanuel took the battle to the Managing Director of Niger-Delta Development Commission, Obong Nsima Ekere, during the Security Summit and Public Lecture in Uyo yesterday, saying that the commission has not executed even a kilometer of road in the state, thereby heightening the political tension existing between the duo in respect to 2019 gubernatorial ambition.
The State Governor, at the South-South Security Summit organized at the instance of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, said that why the NDDC is struggling with projects in the Niger-Delta region is because the commission has not cooperated with the state governments, warning the NDDC not to embark on projects in any of the nine states without permission from the governors.
“Let me also use this opportunity that the MD of Niger-Delta Development Commission is here to state clearly that NDDC does not own even a piece of land. It is the governors that are in charge of land. NDDC should not enter any of the nine states to do any project without permission from the governors. That is why they have not been able to execute even a kilometer of road in my state,” said Emmanuel.
The Governor opined that the NDDC projects are politicized while calling on government at various levels to prioritize live-touching development instead of politics as time to play politics has not yet arrived.
“Because the projects are politicized… so we can actually come together for the benefit of our people. This thing is a joint force – the state government, federal government agencies joining together to actually make sure we impact on the lives of our people. When it is time for politics we will play politics, when it’s time for development, let’s develop and impact on the lives of our people and leave some of these things we are doing. Let’s know that it is time we come together and get some things done for our people,” the State Governor said.
It would be recalled that the Managing Director of NDDC, Obong Nsima Ekere had said in different fora that the NDDC under his watch was completing roads and projects started in Akwa Ibom State and all the Niger-Delta states.
Some of the roads he noted are in Uyo and in the hinterland.
Meanwhile at yesterday’s Security Summit, Governor Udom Emmanuel also lashed out at Exxon Mobil and other international oil corporations, IOCs, for ignoring the call to relocate their corporate headquarters from Lagos to where they have their operational base.
“All the IOCs are in Lagos, and they are coming here to spill oil and nothing is being said and done. Why can’t Mobil operate from Akwa Ibom State? What do they want? We have the international airport, we have good roads. Why can’t they operate from here?” he queried.
Mr. Udom Emmanuel decried the federal government’s indifference towards implementing the 16-point agenda recently submitted to it by the Pan Niger-Delta Forum, PANDEF.