The member representing Brass Constituency I in the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon. Israel Sunny-Goli, has protested the nomination of Professor Nelson Brambaifa as the state’s representative on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission. In an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, dated September 1, 2016, Sunny-Goli, a member of the All Progressives Congress, said Brambaifa’s selection was against the views of the party’s stakeholders. It also amounted to relegation of two of the three senatorial districts of the state, he said.
The lawmaker regretted that the choice of the APC stakeholders and members in the state for appointment into the NDDC board did not make the final list announced recently by the presidency. He said the party in the state had sent a nominee to the president through the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri. Sunny-Goli accused the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, of being behind the replacement of the state APC’s nominee.
Sunny-Goli also insisted that since Lokpobiri, who represents the state in the Federal Executive Council, is from Ekeremor Local Government Area, and the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, General Paul Boroh (rtd.) is from Sagbama Local Government Area, all in Bayelsa West senatorial district, it would be unfair to give Brambaifa, who is from Sagbama Local Government Area, the NDDC board position.
He said Brambaifa’s appointment had grave political implications, stressing that the president should reverse the appointment and “do the right thing,” since the nominees have not yet been confirmed by the Senate.
Sunny-Goli appealed for the fair treatment of all those who supported APC during the last general election, despite all the odds stacked against them in the Peoples Democratic Party-governed state, where the immediate past president and PDP member, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, also hails from.
The full text of the open letter reads:
“Dear Mr. President,
This is to alert you to the anomaly in the selection of the member representing Bayelsa State on the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission.
We, leaders and members of the All Progressives Congress in Bayelsa State, had a direct confrontation with the former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, being a son of the state, in terms of bearing the brunt of opposition and bringing about the Change government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
When it was time to nominate state representatives to the NDDC Board, the leaders and stakeholders of APC in Bayelsa State met and recommended a nominee to Mr. President through the Honourable Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, for appointment into the Board. But we are surprised that this nominee did not make the final list. We know that it is not the fault of Mr. President that our nominee is not on the list.
We have it on good authority that it was the Minister of Transport and former governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, who used his ‘veto’ power as campaign coordinator and so-called leader of the South-south, which nobody made him, to replace our nominee. It is not as if this nominee is not qualified in his own right. He is very well qualified educationally, professionally, and otherwise.
We have also been told that Mr Rotimi Amaechi had told people that Mr President directed him to nominate all the State Reps on the NDDC Board from all the Niger Delta states. We find this strange and unacceptable especially in the face of Mr President’s statement that he belongs to nobody but everybody. Mr Amaechi is from Rivers State and he cannot dictate happenings in Bayelsa or any other South -South states as the various states have their leaders and stakeholders that determine who gets appointments.
Professor Nelson Brambaifa’s appointment has serious political implications in the sense that the current Minister representing Bayelsa State, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri (Honourable Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development), is from Ekeremor local government area, Bayelsa West senatorial district, and the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, General Paul Boroh (rtd.), is Sagbama local government area also from Bayelsa West. Now, the Bayelsa State representative on the NDDC Board is also Sagbama Local government area in the same Bayelsa West senatorial zone.
If the latest appointment is not reversed, it means that other senatorial zones in Bayelsa State would have been completely excluded from getting the federal executive positions assigned to the state. All the people who had a stake in the struggle should be carried along and every zone in the state should be given a sense of belonging.
Since the NDDC Board nominations have not been confirmed by the Senate, Mr. President has enough time to recall the said nominee for Bayelsa State and do the right thing. This is very important, as it would, help to assuage the obvious ill will that many APC members in the state now bear towards the federal government.
Mr. President, Sir, thank you for your attention.”