MARGINALIZATION OF APPOINTMENT INTO ASOPADEC(ABA IN VIEW).
Abia State as one of the States under the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) established the Abia State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ASOPADEC) between 1999 and 2007 under the administration of Governor T.A Orji(the erstwhile Governor of the State),with the primary objective of delivering the dividends of democracy to the Oil Producing Areas of the State.However,the enabling Law No 9 of 2009 that was enacted by the Abia State House of Assembly came into force on July 8,2009 and was assented to,by the same Governor T. A Orji on December 17th, 2009.
Subsequently,the Law No 9 of 2009 has been in tactful amendment for convenience and effectiveness.In the amendment No 3 of the Law 8 of 2017(PART II AMENDMENT OF THE PRINCIPAL LAW),the Law explicitly States that the Commission shall consist of twelve(12) members to be drawn as follows:
a).the Chairman who must be from the Oil Producing Local Government Area.
b).Six(6) persons,two of whom shall be drawn from the three Senatorial Districts(with or without oil).
c).a member,who shall be drawn from the Community Producing/delivering the largest quantity of Oil and Gas on behalf of the State.
d).a representative of the State Ministry of Finance.
e).a representative of the State Planning Commission.
f).a representative of the Ministry of Petroleum and;
g) the Secretary of the Commission.
Regrettably, since the establishment of the Commission in 1999/2007 and the inauguration of its Pioneer Board Members in March, 2010, Aba North and South Local Government Areas as Local Government Areas that are in Abia South Senatorial District have never been represented or allowed to have a fair share in the affairs of the Commission(very pathetic and unfair).
Gainfully, Ukwa East(has produced and still has a Commissioner), Ukwa West(has the Chairman and a Community Representative), Ugwunagbo(has produced and still has a Commissioner) and Obingwa(produced the Secretary) Local Government Areas in Abia South Senatorial District have all benefited (and still benefiting) from the Commission, while the two most productive local government areas in the State(Aba North/South) are being deliberately sidelined in the affairs of the lucrative Commission (ASOPADEC) for little or no unknown reason(s).
Frankly,the provisions of the Principal Law of the Commission are explicit,as equity,justice and fairness are the operational ingredients of the law. Hence,it will be unkind and man’s inhumanity to man for Aba(that also has Oil and Gas Pipelines everywhere) to be deliberately marginalized in appointments into the Commission for any unjustifiable reason.
Therefore,i solicit for the help of Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu PhD of Abia State and the leaders of Abia South Senatorial District to,for the sake of equity, transparency and natural justice, grant Aba North and South Local Government Areas their pride of place (should be given Commissionership Slots) in the Oil based Commission. For what is good for the goose,is also good for the gander (manu akara ndi uto,onye ratu ibeya aratu).
To be Continued.
Jumbo Destiny Chigere(JDC).
Editor-in-chief, Freelance Media