President Muhammadu Buhari has been charged to immediately sack the Niger Delta Development Commission’s (NDDC) executive director of projects, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh on the grounds that he lacks the qualification to man his current position.
Women under the aegis of Niger-Delta Women Integrity Vanguard (NDWIV), gave the call in a statement signed by their national coordinator, Mrs Grace Nene Iworiso, stressing that Dr. Ojougboh’s appointment violates the NDDC Act.
Citing the recent sack of former Acting managing director, Joi Nunieh and the case of former Minister for Finance, Kemi Adeosun, the statement claimed that only women seem to be victimized for not possessing adequate certificates to run government offices.
The statement which frowned on the continued stay of the Dr. Ojougboh despite him not being from an oil producing area, as well as not having the requisite professional qualification, said President Buhari was “apparently misled” in appointing him.
According to the statement, the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, seeks to pursue “an agenda that can only lead to the ruin of the NDDC and more crisis among the people of the region,” giving the caliber of persons brought in to manage the interventionist agency.
“We have watched the goings-on at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) with some interest for a while believing that the actions of the Minister for Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio and indeed the federal government were altruistic.
“We are compelled, therefore, to raise some pertinent matters for the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians as a whole in the hope that the president will do the needful and bring sanity to the NDDC.
“One of these issues that bother us is the membership of the interim management committee, which we believe is packed with unqualified people recruited to further Akpabio’s own selfish agenda and which only value is acting as yes-men.
“One of such unqualified members is Dr Cairo Ojougboh who is currently acting as ED Projects. By virtue of the NDDC Act, Cairo Ojugboh is not qualified to be a member of the management of NDDC whether on interim or substantive basis because he is not an indigene of any oil producing Local Government Area in Delta State or any other state in Nigeria. His appointment by President Buhari is in gross violation of the NDDC Act.
“This further confirms our fears that those who President Buhari wholly and confidently trust to advise him aright on national issues and appointments are sadly betraying and failing him. Dr Cairo Ojougboh is from Ika South LGA of Delta State which is not an oil producing LGA at all.
“How then did he get this appointment in the first place? He also does not have the requisite skill for the position he holds, which has always been held by qualified engineers since the establishment of the Commission.
“Ojugboh is a medical doctor and only a warped mind could have recommended him for the job of Executive Director Projects. By his conduct at the commission so far it is clear that he is Akpabio’s Man-Friday for whatever personal agenda,” parts of the statement said.
Calling for his immediate sack, the women alleged that certain plots orchestrated by Ojougboh led to the dismissal of former MD, Nunieh.
“We therefore call on President Buhari to immediately sack him from the management of NDDC the same way he sacked Dr Joi Nunieh for the lesser offence of not having her National Youth Service Corps discharge certificate as required by the laws of Nigeria.
“We are aware of the schemes of Ojuogboh which led to the unfortunate sack of Joy Nunieh, a qualified woman who hails from oil-rich Ogoniland. It will be wrong and unconstitutional to keep Dr Cairo Ojougboh for an extra day in NDDC having not been qualified to be a member of the management of the NDDC in the first place.
“Otherwise, we will have no option but to accuse President Buhari of protecting male appointees and easily sacking more qualified female appointees who commit far lesser infractions. The sack of Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun for presenting false NYSC discharge certificate is still fresh in our minds at a time other male officials with similar infractions were let go.
“We are putting the federal government on notice that we will not sit idly by and watch the desecration of the NDDC management requirements as laid out in the Act setting up the development agency, which Akpabio and his cohorts have bastardized, as it concerns Dr Cairo Ojugboh, whose appointment is totally offensive to us and the people of the Niger Delta,” the statement further emphasized.