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Major ethnic representation across the country had come in conflict
with the new appointment into top management positions in the nation’s common
wealth source’, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation says its collation and distribution
of human resources has coloration of ethnic and religious bias. The Group, Yoruba
socio-political group, Afenifere, the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, and
Ohaneaze Ndigbo described it as threat to national unity

The stance of Ohaneaze Ndigbo was endorsed by the south east senate
cacus, two niger-delta groups,’’Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, and Niger Delta People’s
Congress, PNDPC, rallied for the first time against   federal government through its decision over
what it describe as lopsided appointment and insentive that will further enhance
 marginalization of the oil producing regions,
while Afenifere described it as an act of impunity, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex
Igbo socio-cultural group, raged that President Muhammadu Buhari was not
walking his talk on the plea for national cohesion.
 Afenifere and Ohanaeze urged
the President to immediately review the appointments, other groups and
political stalwarts from the South, including former Senate Chief Whip; Senator
Roland Owie, termed the appointments as provocative. The uproar followed news
of a major shake-up in the NNPC, last week.
Out of 15 appointments made, 10 were from the North (mostly Hausa
Fulani), three Yoruba, two from the South-South and there was none from the
South East. Ohanaeze Reacting to the appointments, President-General of
Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo, in a statement he made available to urban
express news online , while calling on the President to review the
appointments, said  Ohanaeze was appalled at what it described as the
consistent and unrepentant disposition  of disdain for the South East by
Buhari’s administration as seen in the reorganization at the NNPC.

The apex body said it had thought that after the President’s
declaration in a broadcast recently that Nigeria’s unity was settled and not
negotiable, that he would take all necessary actions in his governance to
achieve it but the recent NNPC shake up has not shown that the administration
is walking its talk. He said:  “This brazen disregard, marginalisation,
and non-compliance with the Federal character provisions in our Constitution
are the causes of lack of confidence which our youths have in our present
governance structure.
 “As long as President Buhari
continues to live out his speech abroad that his government will favour those
who voted 97% for him against those who voted 5% for him, so long will the
dissatisfaction and unrest in our polity subsist,” Nwodo warned. “There is no
oil well anywhere in Northern Nigeria.
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 Four of the five states in the
South East have proven oil resources some of which provide our nation’s
revenue, yet our people are not found fit to be adequately represented in a key
corporate institution like the NNPC,” he said, as he called for an immediate
review of the appointments. S-East senators The stance of Ohaneze was endorsed
by the South East Senate caucus. Speaking with journalist yesterday, monitored
by urban express news correspondent, Chairman of south east caucus of senators
at the nation’s Assembly, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, noted that the senators
were in full support of Ohanaeze, saying “ we support Ohanaeze’s stance on what
Buhari should do.” , Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, PDP, Abia North, called on the
President to have a rethink on the issue, saying “this one is a clear evidence
of the marginalization that we have been saying about this government. “What
happened at the NNPC is evidence that what we have been saying is not imagined,
but real.” Afenifere in its response articulated by its spokesman, Mr. Yinka
Odumakin, said: “The issue for us is not about whether it favours us or not; it
is about justice to all and being that it is skewed and that is not the way to
build an inclusive society.
 “You must carry everybody
along. Does that mean that there was nobody qualified from the South East? “Why
the sheer impunity? I think that those who are running Nigeria now should be
mindful of the need to build an inclusive society. “You must earn the
confidence of all, and it is not too late for this administration to listen and
do something that is more balanced in a multi-ethnic society.” Coordinating
Secretary of PANDEF, Dr. Alfred Mulade, said the organization would come out
with its formal position soon, but nevertheless stated that the group made its
stand on NNPC, including participation in the oil industry/ownership of oil
blocks known to the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, when the Chief Edwin
Clark-led group   visited him on August 3.

Clark had noted then that only one person from the South-South was
represented on the nine-member board of the NNPC. PNDPC PNDPC leader, Ayemi-Botu,
alias Lion of the Niger, said:  “The present government is insensitive to
the calls of well-meaning Niger Deltans on the lopsided appointments and
management of the NNPC since the present administration of President Muhammadu
Buhari came on board. “The President actually started with 33 appointments
clearly against the region, later it replaced the Group Managing Director of
NNPC with a northerner and even when the 16-point agenda was presented to him,
November 1, last year, his attention was drawn to the composition of NNPC
board, dominated by northerners. “There is no gainsaying that NNPC is an
offshoot of oil that is derived from the Niger Delta and the people must have a
say in what happens, but even while the anger has not subsided, the President
came with the latest reshuffling or whatever they call it, where the north
again has taken over the NNPC. This is unacceptable to the region.

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