The African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) and the Coalition of Registered Political Parties (CRPP) have criticised the decision of Gov. Godwin Obaseki to stop the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from executing projects in Edo.
The two organisations which made their positions known to newsmen in Benin on Sunday, described Obaseki’s decision as wrong and a disservice to the people of Edo.
At the weekend, Obaseki said he has ordered contractors of the NDDC to immediately stop executing projects or undertaking contracts in the state.
Speaking when he received the management team of Seplat Petroleum Company Ltd., Obaseki said that the NDDC has failed the region in the discharge of its responsibilities.
The governor said that the state government will approach the court to seek an order stopping the Federal Government agency from embarking on any project in the state without the consent of the state Executive Council.
But the chairman of CRPP, Dr Samson Isibor, condemned the position of the governor.
He said, “The governor cannot dictate to a federal agency. The one that is under his jurisdiction which is Edo State Oil and Gas Producing Areas Development Commission (EDSOGPADEC), he has not done and he is talking about how to take over NDDC.
“We as Edo people are not in line with that position. The things he said he has been doing in Edo state, we have not seen them. We appeal to the NDDC not to listen to him.
“He should go to the National Assembly to say he wants to take charge of NDDC so that they can change the Act.
“There is a channel of communication which I think he should use and not this authoritarian way he is adopting, we are in a democracy which bedrock is dialogue,” Isibor stated.
On his part, the Executive Director of ANEEJ, Rev. David Ugolor, said the governor should adopt political means.
According to him, “I understand the genuine pains that the governor is feeling, particularly going by the background that the NDDC is associated with a lot of corruption and bad jobs that it had carried out across the country.
“However, I don’t know on what framework the governor is taking that decision. I think he should use political means to achieve that, going to court is not an option that is viable for the people of Edo State.
“He will only succeed in stopping Edo state from benefitting from NDDC projects.
“He should use the platform of the Nigerian Governors Forum to articulate the issues rather than going to court.”