Ogoni Group Demands Re-Instatement of Sacked NDDC Director

An Ogoni group have given President Muhammadu Buhari a five-day ultimatum to reinstate their son, Mr Mene Derek, as the Executive Director of Finance and Administration of the Niger Delta Development Commission.

The group, who gave the ultimatum, cautioned that failure to return Derek to the NDDC board could affect the relationship between Ogoni people and the Federal Government.

Speaking under the auspices of Conscience of Ogoni People, they decried the sacking of Derek, describing it as an indication of the President’s hatred for Ogoni people.

National Leader of the group, Gani Topba, maintained that it was necessary for Buhari to reverse the decision to remove their son and reinstate him (Derek).

Topba spoke shortly after a general assembly in Bori, Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State, which was organised on Wednesday by the group.

“We are not happy that our son, Mene Derek, was removed as the EDFA of the Niger Delta Development Commission by the presidency.  His removal, as the EDFA, showed how Ogoni people are hated in this country, not minding our contribution to the economy of Nigeria.

“Our position is that we want our son to be reinstated. We are giving President Muhammadu Buhari five days ultimatum to withdraw that decision and reinstate him to his position or appoint any other Ogoni person to that position,” Topba said.

On the disagreement between Ogoni and Shell Petroleum Development Company, he said the people were ready to dialogue with the oil firm for the commencement of exploration in the area.

Explaining that the era of agitation was over, the group’s national leader said that they were ready for dialogue with the Federal Government to ensure Ogoniland move forward.

He said, “We are prepared to dialogue with the Federal Government to ensure that there is progress in Ogoniland. Let Shell company come here (Ogoniland) to discuss with us on how to resume oil exploration.

“Shell operational licence will expire in the next four months. What we are talking about is how development will come and make Ogoni better.

“We are giving them (Shell) 14 days deadline to come for dialogue.  Come and dialogue with us that you are serious and ready.”

Topba also called on the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, also known as HYPREP, to relocate its headquarters from Port Harcourt to Ogoniland.

He, however, cautioned that HYPREP’s headquarters in the Rivers State capital could be shut down should the agency fail to pay attention to the demand of Ogoni people.