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NDDC: THE HYENAS AND JACKALS ONCE MORE GATHER – II

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NDDC: THE HYENAS AND JACKALS ONCE MORE GATHER – II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Uche Diala

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Global News Reports – Like I noted in part one of this series, when you fight corruption and indiscipline, they both fight back ferociously. This would not be far from what is playing out currently at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and well-meaning Niger Deltans and Nigerians can ill afford to keep quiet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NDDC: THE HYENAS AND JACKALS ONCE MORE GATHER - II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is obvious that certain individuals and vested interests are doing everything to ensure that the commission does not depart from its old ways and that the aims and intentions of the new Chairman of the Governing Board which to enthrone probity, accountability, due process and efficient service delivery to the people of the region are scuttled. To achieve that, these individuals and vested interests within and around the NDDC have orchestrated and deployed all manners of mischief and underhand tactics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the part one, I wrote about the procured court judgment which among other things purportedly barred the Chairman of the Board from interfering in the legal functions of the Managing Director of the Commission and sacking “18 Aides” allegedly contracted by the Chairman. In this installment, I shall deeply scrutinize that court judgment and expose the folly and mischief it is enabling for Niger Deltans and Nigerians to see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It would be recalled that a certain Dr Mike Oberabor had approached the Federal High Court, Warri, presided over by Hon. Justice Okon E. Abang in a suit marked FHC/WR/CS/14/2023, “on behalf of himself and on behalf of the Oberabor Oreme-Egbede families of Olomoro Community in Isoko South local community of Delta State”,. The suit was “seeking an interpretation of the NDDC Act, 2000 and other relevant statute and documents relating to the running of the commission’’. It had the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Chairman of its Governing Board, Mrs Lauretta Onochie and its Managing Director, Dr Samuel Ogboku as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Defendants respectively.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the Certified True Copy of the Judgment delivered on Tuesday, 9th May 2023, Justice Abang while stating that; “having considered the relevant provisions of the NDDC Establishment Act, 2000 ..’’, “the circular issued by the presidency on revised frequency of meeting for part time members of government committees, Boards of Federal Agencies, Statutory Corporations and government owned companies”, “the circular issued by office of the Accountant General of the Federation dated 16/1/23 on the subject matter of dispute between parties,” and “that the unilateral decision of the 2nd Defendant (Mrs. Lauretta Onochie) to appoint 18 aides in her office, the demand for an executive office in the commission are in contravention (of) relevant provisions of NDDC Act, the circulars released by Federal Government on the subject matter of the Plaintiff’s claims,” granted the Plaintiff’s claims and ordered as follows:

 

“It is hereby adjudged, ordered and declared as follows:

 

“1. That the 3rd Defendant as the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission is the person statutorily empowered by the NDDC ACT to perform and wield the executive functions, powers and day to day running and management of the Commission to the exclusion of other members of the Board of the NDDC including the 2nd Defendant herein”.

 

“2. That all actions of the 2nd Defendant including but not limited to the appointment of her personal aides carried out in exercise of executive functions and powers in the Niger Delta Development Commission since her assumption of duty on the 4th day of January, 2023 are ultra vires her powers and therefore null and void and of no effect whatsoever”.

 

“3. That the 2nd Defendant (Mrs Lauretta Onochie) is restrained from carrying out and/or exercising any executive functions and powers in the Niger Delta Development Commission, the 1st Defendant (NDDC) herein.

 

“4. The 2nd Defendant is further restrained from interfering with the 3rd Defendant’s (Managing Director’s) executive functions, powers and day to day running and management of Niger Delta Development Commission the 1st Defendant herein.”

 

Firstly, I will not spend precious time dwelling on the person of the plaintiff, Dr Mike Oberabor, his qualification for bringing the suit, his real motive in meddling in what are internal affairs of the Commission as well as whose interest he is actually representing, especially seeing as all the prayers and reliefs sought in the suit and granted in the judgment are skewed in favor of the Managing Director, who is currently battling the chairman of the governing board and who himself was a co-defendant in the suit. Is it a case of the biblical ‘hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob’? Time will tell.

 

However, as erudite lawyer and anti-corruption activist, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla put it: “He (the plaintiff) is not qualified to bring a suit against the defendants. He has no locus standi because his community whom he is purporting to represent in Delta State is not the only community in the nine Niger Delta States of Delta, Imo, Abia, Akwa, Ibom, Ondo, Rivers, Cross River and Bayelsa States.”

 

Chief Obon-Obla goes further to say that; “The reliefs granted by the Court are unobtainable because by section 24 (1) of the NDDC Act, the honorable Chairman and Board members are public officers protected by the provisions of the Public Officers Protection Act”.

Furthermore, he opined that “the suit (by Dr Oberabor) by section 24 (2) (a) & (b) of the NDCC Act was time barred. Indeed, Section 24 (1) – (2) (a) & (b) of Niger-Delta Development Commission (Establishment etc) Act state as follows:

24. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the provisions of the Public Officers Protection Act shall apply in relation to any suit instituted against any officer or employee of the Commission.

 

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law or enactment, no suit shall lie against any member of the Board, the Managing Director or any other officer or employee of the Commission for any act done in pursuance or execution of this Act or any other law or enactment, or of any public duty or authority or in respect of any alleged neglect or default in the execution of this Act or such law or enactment, duty or authority, shall lie or be instituted in any court unless:

 

(a) it is commenced within three months next after the act, neglect or default complained of; or

 

(b) in the case of a continuation of damage or injury, within six months next after the ceasing thereof.

 

It is curious to note that the presiding judge did not take the above facts contained in the same NDDC Act into consideration.

 

Secondly, I will not dwell anymore on the allegation of appointment of “18 personal aides” by the Chairman of the Board which I debunked in part one as that has been proven to be false and malicious. Even the NDDC Board has strongly and officially debunked that claim. Therefore, the court could not have nullified or voided something that never existed. I still wonder why and how the Court accepted that as true without verified evidence or proof of such.

 

Thirdly, it is very important to state here that there is no arguing the fact that the Managing Director is statutorily empowered by the NDDC Act to perform and wield the executive functions, powers and day to day to running and management of the NDDC as stated in the court judgment.

 

Indeed, Section 12 (1) (b) of the NDDC Act states that “the Managing Director shall be the chief executive and accounting officer of the Commission”. However those powers are neither absolute nor without oversight, checks and balances. Those powers are “… subject to the general direction of the Board …” as stipulated by the NDDC Act, Section 12 (2).

 

Section 12 (2) states that: The Managing Director shall, subject to the general direction of the Board, be responsible:-

 

(a) For the day to day administration of the Commission;

(b) For keeping the books and Proper records of the proceedings of the Board, and

(c) For –

 

(i) The administration of the secretariat of the Board, and

(ii) The general direction and control of all other employees of the Commission.

 

It is therefore as curious as it is disappointing to read the Judge reduce the position and duties of the Chairman of the board of the NDDC to merely overseeing and presiding over meetings of the board thus: “The court having considered the relevant provisions of the NDDC ACT to the effect that appointment as the Chairman of the board of the 1st Defendant on part time basis is to oversee and preside over the meetings of the board,”.

 

Indeed this brings to fore the questions I asked in part one of this series as to what exact executive functions or powers of the Managing Director have been usurped by the Chairman Governing Board since January 4, 2023 when they all assumed office?

 

Does the Chairman insisting that due processes must be followed in the running of the affairs of the Commission, that transparency, probity and accountability must be the watch words, that multiple accounts maintained in the name of the Commission, some shrouded in secrecy must be accounted for and that the NDDC must be made to work for the common good of the generality of the people of the Niger Delta and Nigerians at large constitute interference or usurpation of the powers of the Managing Director to oversee day to day running of the Commission?

 

If anyone, it is the management led by the Managing Director that usurped the powers of the Governing board by reportedly signing a $15b Memorandum of Understanding on a rail project with neither the knowledge of the Chairman nor the consent and approval of the board.

 

For avoidance of doubt and for proper information of Niger Deltans and Nigerians, Section 8 of the NDDC Act expressly states that: (Please pay attention to 8 (e)).

 

8. The Board shall have power to:-

(a) Manage and supervise affairs of the Commission.

(b) Make rules and regulations for carrying out the functions of the Commission.

(c) Enter and inspect premises, projects and such places as may be necessary for the purposes of carrying out its functions under this Act.

(d) Pay the staff of the Commission such remuneration and allowances as appropriate.

(e) Enter into such contracts as may be necessary or expedient for the discharge of its functions and ensure the efficient performance of the functions of the Commission.

(f) Do such other things as are necessary and expedient for the efficient performance of the functions of the Commission.

 

I have heard talk from some people of the Chairman demanding that she be made a signatory to the NDDC account, suggesting that such is wrong and the cause of the ‘rofo rofo’ fight. While I do not hold brief for the chairman and cannot speak to the veracity or otherwise of that claim, I do not see anything in the NDDC Act that prohibits such or makes it illegal and why the Managing Director or anyone should have a problem with that, except some person(s) has something to hide. Indeed, in my humble and objective view, that would be in line with the spirit and letter of the Act establishing the NDDC.

 

Section 14, (3) (a) and (b) (pay particular attention to 14(3a) of the NDDC Act 2000 under “Financial Provisions”, dealing with funds accruable to the commission provides thus:

 

14 (3) The fund shall be managed in accordance with the rules made by the Board, and without prejudice to the generality of the power to make rules under this subsection, the rules shall in particular contain provisions –

 

(a) Specifying the manner in which the assets or the fund of the Commission are to be held, and regulating the making of payments into and out of the fund; and

 

(b) Requiring the keeping of proper accounts and records for the purpose of the fund in such form as may be specified in the rules.

 

Therefore, if the Chairman of the Board for reasons we all know are altruistic decides that she should also be a signatory to the account(s) of the Commission, there is absolutely nothing wrong or illegal about that in my view. Indeed the NDDC Act supports that as I have shown above. The fact that past Chairmen of the Governing Board may have been less than interested or thorough should not make that an acceptable norm.

 

I have taken the pain to go through this in detail to help fellow Nigerians to see the facts and separate them from fiction. What is going on at the NDDC is nothing but trying to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it with some people trying to emotionally blackmail, intimidate and malign the Chairman of the Governing board who from the get go has left no one in doubt as to her intention and her determination that the NDDC is made to work for the generality of the good people of Niger Delta and Nigeria at large.

 

As I wrote in part one, part of their gimmick is to present the Chairman before her employer, Niger Deltans and Nigerians as the agent provocateur and a disagreeable person who does not want the Agency to function and as someone who is equally tainted and hopefully by so doing mobilize public sentiments and opinion against her, using the media and their well-oiled and financed propaganda machinery. That must not be allowed to happen.

 

In closing, I reiterate my call for the Presidency and the National Assembly to stand resolutely behind the Chairman of the Governing board, Mrs Lauretta Onochie.

 

I equally expect the governors and indigenes of NDDC member states to rise up in defense of this woman who is determined to fight for them. It is our interest that is at stake.

 

Finally, I respectfully call on the entire Board and management of the Commission to realize that it is the lives and welfare of the long suffering people of the Niger Delta that they represent that are at stake. It is time to bury the ego alongside the hatchet and cooperate with the Chairman of the Governing board for the good of the commission, the Niger Delta and Nigeria at large.

 

©️ Uche Diala

 

druchediala@gmail.com

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The Unending Supply: A Testimony of Faith and Tithing – Pastor Enenche

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The Unending Supply: A Testimony of Faith and Tithing – Pastor Eneche

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Global News Reports That In a captivating narrative, Senior Pastor Paul Enenche of Dunamis International Gospel Centre in Abuja shared a miraculous tale involving a bag of rice. After his wife gave away a portion as tithe, the rice began to multiply in a way that defied explanation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pastor Enenche’s wife was accustomed to tithing not only money but also food. On a notable occasion, after dedicating a tenth of their rice as tithe, they were astonished to find that the rice continued to replenish itself. This bewildering event led to his wife giving away the rest of the rice, perturbed by the unceasing abundance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pastor Enenche himself has a long history of tithing, a practice he began during his university years. With a monthly allowance of just N30, he faithfully contributed N3 as tithe. His commitment to this spiritual discipline has persisted, independent of his eventual role as a pastor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Pastor Enenche, tithing is a deep-seated principle found in the scriptures, not a means to pastoral service. Since 1986, he has been a practitioner of tithing, convinced by the positive changes it brought into his life

, rather than by ecclesiastical debate.

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Nigeria will overcome security challenges — Ex-army chief, Buratai

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Nigeria will overcome security challenges — Ex-army chief, Buratai

Nigeria will overcome security challenges — Ex-army chief, Buratai

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sahara Weekly Reports That A former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai (rtd), has predicted an end to the security challenges Nigeria is presently passing through saying it will soon be a thing of the past.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nigeria will overcome security challenges — Ex-army chief, Buratai

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

General Buratai spoke at the public presentation of books written by the Director Academic, Planning and Quality Assurance, Nigerian Army University, Biu, Borno State, Brigadier General Mogbekeloluwa Oluyinka Fakokunde, which was held at Nigerian Army Resource Centre, Abuja on Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The former army chief commended the efforts of the Nigerian military in the war against insecurity saying they have given their best within the circumstances they have found themselves. He however expressed optimism in the ability of the military to nip the security challenges in the bud very soon saying insecurity is a global occurrence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I want to commend them (the military). They are doing well. They are doing their best within the circumstances they find themselves and what is happening. It (insecurity) is not only in Nigeria, it is global. What is happening is Nigeria is not an exception. Within our neighbours, we see what is happening and globally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We see what is happening in Sudan, Ukraine, in the Middle East and so on. They (the military) need to remain resolute, remain focused and continue the project they are doing and surely they will succeed. For sure it (insecurity) cannot be permanent, there must be a solution and we can get out of it one day,” General Buratai told media

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The author, Brigadier General Fakokunde, while speaking with Tribune Online, said the books were written with the intention to solve societal problems such as stress, drug abuse and addiction as well as providing the leeway for teachers to manage stress associated with their profession.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He said as builders of talents, teachers need the required skills and qualifications to excel and impart knowledge on their students as leaders of tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“If you look at these books, they are not just ordinary books, they are also working instruments addressing the problems of the society like problem of drug addicts, problem of occupational stress and others ravaging the workforce now. These are competencies they need to imbibe so that they can manage their stress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The rate of drug abuse is a serious thing now and is prevalent among the students and the youths. With these publications, we have instruments that can be used to manage drug abuse among our youths, our workforce and every strata of the society. The intention is to solve problems of the society and that is what we have done by unveiling these books.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The books’ reviewer, Professor Mary Ogechi Esere, of the University of Ilorin, while commending the author for his efforts said the books describe Nigeria’s current realities and provide solutions for the way out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She said the books could not have come at a better time describing them as tools for stress management and to tackle the menace of drug abuse especially among the youths.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The author has deemed it fit to give us tools that we can use to manage the stress and tackle drug abuse which is prevalent among our students right from primary schools. The books are apt, written at the right time. It is scholarly and the writing style is unique,” she said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The books presented are Handbook of Occupational Stress Management for Teachers, Psychological Testing and Technique in Continuous Assessment for Colleges and Universities, Drug Abuse Awareness Scale (DAAS) and Drug Abuse Awareness Scale (DAAS) Manual.

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REVIEW OF, ‘THE LEGEND OF BURATAI 2’

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REVIEW OF, ‘THE LEGEND OF BURATAI 2’

REVIEW OF, ‘THE LEGEND OF BURATAI 2’

 

 

 

 

 

By Hannatu Lot Dickson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Legend of Buratai Volume 2 is authored by General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, the former Chief of Staff of the Nigerian Army. The book was Published by Sprezzatura Publishing Ltd. Cover design by Mereo Books. It was published October 13, 2021 in English Language. It has 125 pages with ISBN-10: * 186151915X and ISBN-13: * 978-1861519153.

 

 

 

 

REVIEW OF, ‘THE LEGEND OF BURATAI 2’

 

 

 

 

 

The author Tukur Yusuf Buratai CFR psc(+) NAM GSS ndc (BD) was born 24 November 1960. He is a retired Nigerian army lieutenant general, former Chief of Army Staff appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari in July 2015, and Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Republic of Benin. He was commissioned into the Nigerian Army in 1983 and has had multiple command, administrative, and instructional appointments.

 

 

 

 

The Legend of Buratai 2 is a novel base on true-life story of General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, the former Chief of Army Staff. It is a novel of eight (8) chapters and has one hundred and twenty-five (125) pages. Each of these chapters and pages is so richly engaging and informative from start to finish.

Just a recap of the plot summary, the book is the enthralling true-life story in his own words, General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, the Chief of Staff of the Nigerian Army, who rose to legendary status by dint of hard work, bravery, diligence, excellence and honesty. His journey through life is presented as an exemplary story for all who would aspire to follow his path. His childhood and formative years were also captured.

 

 

 

 

 

The preliminary pages of “The Legend of Buratai 2” begins with the titled page where the titled of the book was boldly written and the author’s name. Then followed by the cover page design which contains the cover photo which was taken in Ngamdu. The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusufu Buratai is clearly seen in the picture with troops during operations against Boko Haram terrorists at the Nigerian Army Special Super Camp Ngamdu, Borno State in April 2020. He was practically leading the combat operations. Them followed by the content page which outlines the book’s structure, listing chapters, which helps readers navigate the book’s organization and content.

 

 

 

 

The Photographic Acknowledgement section credits the sources of photographs used in the book, acknowledging photographs taken from the personal album of the author. Followed by a heartfelt message dedicating the book to all young people in Nigeria, and especially those of the Nigerian Military School and the Nigerian Defence Academy.

 

 

 

 

The Publisher’s Note and acknowledgement pages expressed gratitude while the Forward was written by Major General Paul Tarfa mni (Rtd), who described General Buratai’s records of service as Chief of Staff of Nigerian Army as legendary and cannot be surpassed. ‘He is a General who inspires his subjects by leading from the front’. He further, provided context, endorsement, and insights into the book’s significance.

 

 

 

 

 

The author begins chapter one by talking about the beginning which captures the lineage, nuclear family and the journey of Yusufu Buratai especially when he joined the RWAFF. Chapter four depict the miraculous escape from the pond as a child, Dr. Gidado Kumo and John Atanda spoke in chapter three and four, while chapter five and six described the author’s encounters with Snakes and Ghost respectively. chapter seven followed with matters bordering on patriotisms and chapter eight list several principles guiding Lt. General TY Buratai, a few out of those principles are: Do not bother about what people say,; Commit to improving yourself to the extent that you do not have time to compete or criticize others; Let excellence be your trademark anywhere you find yourself; Do not be too proud to retrace your steps back to the right path; Listen more and say less; Always lead with courage or not at all; Honour your words as your bond and never make a promise you can’t keep…

The plot is set in Buratai town, Biu Local Government Area of Borno State to Potiskum, Yobe State. The genre is non-fiction.

 

 

 

The book, ‘The Legend of Buratai 2’ is the best pick for young minds in need of inspiration and mentorship. It is a captivating and fascinating masterpiece, rich in original history, military tactics, strategies and important life lessons with a touch of spirituality straight from the mind and experiences of true and pragmatic General TY Buratai.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Legend of Buratai 2 has the potentials to recoup reinvigorate patriotism to our fatherland Nigeria. It also has the capability and potentials to make a young mind dream and do everything in their powers to live their dreams just like Lt. General TY Buratai.

 

 

 

 

 

The book is so real, it’s not a conventional love story with a perfectly Happy-Ever-After. It was infused with strong themes, I love how Lt Gen. TY Buratai recollected his childhood and formative years, how he was educating us on how to be patriotic and how he described ‘the wretched rustic life of a terrorist’ infused in a poem titled, ‘ARE YOU A TERRORIST?’

The themes in “The Legend of Buratai: Volume 2” include

 

– Hard work: General Tukur Yusuf Buratai’s rise to legendary status is attributed to his diligence and hard work.

 

 

 

– Bravery: General Buratai is known for his bravery and military tactics.

– Excellence: General Buratai’s journey to excellence is presented as an exemplary story for all who would aspire to follow his path.

 

 

 

 

– Honesty: General Buratai’s honesty is one of the key characteristics that contributed to his legendary status.

 

 

 

– Patriotism: The book is capable of reawakening patriotism to one’s fatherland, according to Moses A. Uyang, author and humanitarian.

 

 

 

– Diligence: Buratai’s diligence is another factor that contributed to his success.

 

 

 

The book is practically a handbook or a catalyst for youngsters who dear to dream, who wants to love and serve their country whole heartedly, be patriotic and serve humanity in all earnest and honesty.

 

 

 

The book offers a wide range of literary appreciation and acceptance, historical sources, and educative values. It is a foundation for historical and otherwise critical evaluation.

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