Appointment of South/South Man As MD Of Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority Condemnable – Group Tells Tinubu

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In a resolute stance against what they deem an affront to regional representation, the Concerned Southwest Social Developmental Group (CSSDG), has vehemently condemned the recent appointment of Chukwuemeka Woke as the Managing Director (MD) of the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Woke, hailing from the South/South region and formerly serving as Chief of Staff to Governor Wike, was appointed amidst a wave of discontent within the Southwest community.

Expressing their discontent at a gathering in Abeokuta, Ogun State, the CSSDG spokesperson, Adeyemi Akande, decried the appointment as an act of disregarding the principle of familiarity and regional representation.

He stated, “The appointment of Chukwuemeka Woke as MD is a blatant disregard for our regional representation. Past appointments have always been based on ethnic considerations, ensuring the appointed MDs are well-versed and understand the nuances of our region.”

Citing a roster of past MDs, including Akintunde Soyemi as the Managing Director of Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority, Prof. Abdulkarim Muhammad of Upper Niger River Basin Development Authority, Dr. Adeniyi Aremu of Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority in Ilorin, Saliu Ahmed, Managing Director of Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority, Muhammad Adra, Managing Director of Lower Benue River Basin Development Authority in Makurdi, Mr. Olufemi Odumosu of Ogun- Osun River Basin Development Authority, Mr. Bassey Nkposong of Cross River Basin Development Authority, and Bature Mohammed, Managing Director of Sokoto Rima River Basin Development Authority in Sokoto.

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo also appointed a managing director for Hadejia Jama’are River Basin Development Authority (HJRBDA) based on their ethnicity.

Akande continued, “Our concern is not just about this specific appointment but the broader pattern it represents. This deviation from established norms undermines the pool of capable hands within the Southwest.”

The CSSDG further questioned the rationale behind the appointment, highlighting the strained political landscape in Rivers State, from which Woke hails.

They questioned whether an Ogun state man would ever be considered for a similar position in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), underscoring the perceived disparity in treatment between regions.

Another member of the CSSDG, Taiwo Babalola, added, “The appointment of Chukwuemeka Woke raises serious questions about the fairness of the selection process.

It seems like political machinations are at play here.”

Allegations of political machinations surfaced, with claims that Senator Solomon Adeola Yayi of Ogun West conspired with the President’s Chief of Staff, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila and some Abuja power brokers to secure Woke’s appointment.

The CSSDG recognise the effort of lobbying to fund the commission in the 2024 budget by the Ogun senator but urged Senator Yayi and his associates to refrain from exerting undue influence over the commission’s affairs so as to avoid be seen as having ulterior motive for lobbying for budgetary allocation to the commission

In a firm call to action, the CSSDG implored President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to uphold the Southwest’s right to representation and to appoint a candidate from the region to the MD position.

They cautioned against the marginalization of Southwest interests, emphasizing the need for equitable treatment in appointments to key positions of authority.

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