President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Senate to confirm his aide on social media, Ms Lauretta Onochie as the substantive chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) board.
Buhari’s request was contained in a letter read by Senate President Ahmad Lawan on the floor of the upper legislative chamber on Wednesday.
Aside from Onochie, Buhari sent the names of 15 other nominees as board members of the NDDC.
They are Samuel Ibukun as managing director; Charles Ehigie Airhiavbere, director of finance; Charles Ogunmola, director of project; Dimgba Erugba (Abia), Ene Wilcox (Akwa Ibom), Pius Odubu (Edo), Gbenga Odegba (Ondo), Anthony Ekene (Imo) and Onyekachi Dimgba (Rivers).
Others are Mohammed Kabiru Abubakar (Nasarawa), Tallen Mamma (Adamawa) and Sodique Sani.
It would be recalled that President Buhari had earlier nominated Onochie as a commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in October 2020.
The Senate rejected the nomination of Onochie following concerns that she is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), but the presidential aide said she resigned her membership of the ruling party in 2019.
Meanwhile, the Movement for the Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta, a socio-cultural group, on Wednesday expressed support for the nomination of Ms Onochie as Chairperson of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The group noted that giving the exalted position to a woman was commendable and expressed the hope that Onochie would justify the confidence reposed in her by President Buhari.
Its president, Mr Kenedy Tonjo-West, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and said that Onochie is eminently qualified and has the competences for the job.
Tonjo-West said that as an aide who had worked closely with the president, Onochie’s nomination indicated that she had earned the confidence of President Buhari.
He noted that as a Niger Delta daughter, Onochie is well-positioned to steer the ship of the NDDC as she knows the challenges facing the region.
He urged the Senate to give its nod to Onochie’s nomination to return the NDDC to the path of progress.
Tonjo-West also urged stakeholders in the region to support the in-coming board to achieve the president’s vision for the development of the Niger Delta.