By Fred Brisibe
The choice of Bernard Okumagba as the Managing Director (MD) is a decision that can emanate only from the custody of fair thinkers. It is obvious that a number of strong factors were brought into consideration in the thinking process to strengthen the decision.
The sentiments flying in the air against his appointment bear no substance potent enough to diminish a decision premised on his personality, pedigree, origin and capacity.
Perhaps, the sentiment mongers are oblivious or the fact that the new MD is set to commence with a reformed policy for development; a policy predicated on the principles of transparency, accountability and tolerance. It would have been sufficient to attract sympathetic attention if the sentiments were forged from the credible reason of incompetence.
This is quite critical because administrative recklessness which plagues the commission in recent times is identified to be an offshoot of incompetence.
Fortunately, Bernard Okumagba has built a lifestyle in business and in politics that is both exceptional and seminal. He can be said to have assumed a personality that signifies integrity, discipline and tolerance. The various landmark legacies he accomplished while in service in the financial industry are enough signposts of his credibility and competence.
It is absolute ignorance to assert that Bernard Okumagba has no mark in the Niger Delta struggle. He may not have gone into the dark and deep creeks to dwell with mosquitoes and dangerous reptiles but, his contributions, on the intellectual level, are recorded with equal significance.
His footprints in the specific area of policy making for the Niger Delta Struggle are indelible. He has been dauntless in his efforts to create opportunities for the people of the region by formulating economic policies designed to launch them out of poverty.
The appointment of Bernard Okumagba who is a proud and blue blooded indigene of Delta, one of the oxygen states of the Niger Delta, is not one of the challenges we need to confront with concerted efforts.
Our common challenges are the defective structure of the NDDC Board, and the non-implementation of the Niger Delta master plan. Our focus is better concentrated on this issues which are more germane than on frivolous sentiments that can only distract him from focus.
* Brisibe is Coordinator, Ijaw Human Rights Monitors