The leadership of the Host Communities of Nigeria (HOSCON) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for sending the list of the board members of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to the Senate for screening.

The list of the nominees, 16 of them, as read on the floor of the Senate by Ahmed Lawan, the Senate President, on Tuesday, included Dr. Pius Odubu, who would serve as Chairman.

Odubu was the deputy governor to former Governor Adams Oshiomhole, now the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), while Bernard Okumagba from Delta State, would serve as Managing Director.

HOSCON, in its statement made available to NEXT EDITION, said it believed that by sending the names to the Senate for screening and possible confirmation, the president’s action was a confirmation that light would always shine over darkness, no matter how long it took.

The statement, signed by Prince Okakuro Monday Whiskey, HOSCON’s National Director, Media and Publicity, urged Buhari to take a step further by ensuring that the proposed forensic probe of NDDC would not be a smoke screen.

It said: “It should be thorough and daring and ensure that all those who have soiled their hands are properly brought to book, no matter how highly placed such individuals might be.”

HOSCON further urged the Federal Government to ensure that the proposed forensic probe also look into how much NDDC had been owned by the funding authorities, including oil and gas multinational conglomerates.

It stressed: “HOSCON under the leadership of Prince Mike Emuh JP, is ready and willing to support all Federal Government initiatives in the Niger Delta, especially all those geared towards transforming the economically and infrastructurally backward region, whose huge petrol dollar resources are being used to run the Nigerian state.

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“The Pius Odubu and Bernard Okumagba- led NDDC Board must see the pains of the region as their pain. They must appreciate the huge fight of the people, who against all odds, defended them even when their lives were being threatened by forces of darkness.

“They must work to put their opposition to shame and promote the Federal Government’s development plans through the NDDC platform.”

Apart from Odubu and Okumagba, others in the list are Otobong Ndem from Akwa Ibom State, nominated as the Executive Director (Projects); Maxwell Okoh from Bayelsa State; Jones Erue from Delta State; Victor Ekhatar from Edo State; and Joy Nunieh from Rivers State.

Included in the NDDC board list are Nwogu Nwogu from Abia State; Theodore Allison from Bayelsa State; Victor Antai from Akwa Ibom State; and Maurice Effiwatt from Cross River State.

The list also included Olugbenga Edema from Ondo State; Uchegbu Kyrian from Imo State; and Aisha Murtala Muhammed from Kano State representing North-West area on the board.

The rest are, Ardo Zubairu (Adamawa State), who will represent the North East; while Ambassador Abdullahi Bage (Nasarawa), would represent the North Central geopolitical zone.

Reading out the list of the 16-member board during a plenary on Tuesday, Lawan urged the Committee on Niger Delta to conclude their screening and submit a report within one week.