Former presidential aide to Muhammadu Buhari, Obol Okoi Obono-Obla, has described the allocation of N16 billion by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for capital projects in 2023/2024 as inadequate, unjust and unfair to Cross River State.
In a statement released on Saturday morning, Obono-Obla, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), stated that such an allocation was unconstitutional and should not be accepted.
In its publication, the NDDC, which comprises nine states, including Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo, and Rivers States, declared the allocation for projects under their Appropriation Act 2023.
Obono-Obla questioned, “What gives the NDDC the audacity to insult the people of Cross River State with reckless abandon and ignominy, whereas every state enumerated is equal to each other and must be treated equally without any shade or iota of discrimination?”
He stated that, “The argument that the makers of the Budget or Appropriation Act premised their decision to allocate only N16 billion to Cross River State (out of N900 billion) because the State does not contribute anything to oil production is therefore wicked, illegal, wrongful, twisted, untenable, malicious, balderdash, and perverse. There is nothing under the NDDC Act to support such an argument.”
According to him, the management of the NDDC cannot input or impose something that is not contemplated by the NDDC Act.
He added that it is unconstitutional because the Nigerian Constitution prohibits any form of discrimination against any person or group of persons or entities under any guise and ramifications.
He further argued that the 13% derivation principle has no bearing on the sharing template developed by the NDDC management, making the appropriation unconstitutional.
Obono-Obla criticised those attempting to justify what he describes as flagrant injustice, glaring imbalance, and lopsidedness in the politics of resource distribution among the members of the NDDC state.