By Magdalene Ukpong, Uyo
The Nsima Ekere Campaign Organization says the immediate past NDDC Managing Director, Mr Nsima Ekere will not be forced to make public his letter of resignation because it is a “private document”, insisting the Akwa Ibom APC Governorship flagbearer was not sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari but formally resigned his appointment as the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, in accordance with extant Electoral Act, which stipulates that a candidate holding public office must resign from such office, at least 30 days to the election he is contesting.
In a statement issued in Uyo on Saturday by the Chairman, Committee on Information and Strategic Communication and Spokesperson
Akwa Ibom State All Progressives Congress Campaign Council, Hon Eseme Eyiboh, Ekere’s commencement date of resignation was January 25, 2019 after which its candidate met with top management team of the commission in a “most emotional valedictory meeting of NDDC management”, before he formally bowed out on the date.
“The preparation for Nsima Ekere’s resignation, was already afoot since two weeks ago, with tidying up of handing over notes and documentations involving relevant departments in the commission, as well as last minute official commissioning of completed projects. ..Rather than being sacked, the presidency commended him on his commitment to the commission and to the people of the Niger Delta”, he stated in his defense to the news of Ekere was fired by Buhari on allegations of corruption and abuse of office.
Asked why the entire NDDC governing board was dissolved if he actually resigned as claimed and why the news of his purported resignation was not made public until the presidency issued a statement appointing an Acting MD, dissolved the board and ordered the Minister of Niger Delta to take over the supervisory role of the Commission pending the reconstitution of a new governing board, Eyiboh said the dissolution came after Mr Ekere had tendered his resignation to the President.
Hear him, “The announcement of the appointment of a new Acting Managing Director and the dissolution of the extant Board is entirely the prerogative of the federal government and if the presidency decides to use the opportunity provided by the resignation of Obong Nsima Ekere to further rejig the commission in furtherance of its mandate, it has nothing to do with our candidate”.
Mr Ekere is believed to have been sacked due to numerous petitions against him to the President, the National Assembly and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, bothering on corruption, contract racketeering and money laundering.
Sources privy to the dissolution told our reporter that in the past two months, the President received over 17 petitions against Mr Ekere, 9 of which came from members of the defunct governing board, a situation she said gave the President justifiable reason to dissolve the board.
Two members of the defunct governing board were reappointed into the caretaker management committee. They are Prof Nelson Braimbraifa who was appointed NDDC Acting Managing Director. Until his appointment, he was Commissioner representing Bayelsa state on the board and Engr Samuel Adjogbe who becomes the Acting Executive Director (Projects), a position he previously held in the defunct Ekere led governing board.