Over 150 CSOs chides Senate over refusal to approve NEDC Board nominees

Mohammed Kaka Misau

No fewer than 150 civil society Organizations have kicked against the refusal of the Nigerian Senate to give attention to the message sent to them seeking the approval of the appointment of Board of the Northeast Development Commission (NEDC).

The group observed with dismay that although the new management of the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) led by the MD/CEO, Umar Abubakar Hashidu has resumed office as directed by the President, the Senate is yet to give the president’s message seeking their approval the needed attention.

Addressing a press conference on behalf of over 150 Civil Society Organizations in the North East subregion early this week, the Coordinator of the group, Comrade Zakari Hashim expressed regret that the Senate is yet to act on the president’s message.

“It is with deep disappointment and a heavy heart that we bring to your attention, the blatant refusal of the Nigeria Senate to confirm President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees into the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) management, all for what appears to be selfish interests”, he said.

The Coordinator said as citizens, they are deeply concerned about the actions of the Senate President who he alleged has persistently neglected the requests of the President for confirmation.

“We firmly believe that President Buhari has acted in the best interest of the subregion and nation, basing his nominations on the qualifications of the individuals to ensure that technocrats and the best hands emerge to lead the North-East Development Commission (NEDC),” he said.

Zakari Hashim added that,”To our greatest dismay, the Senate has shown little effort in considering these nominations, seemingly working effortlessly to undermine the President’s choices”.

While describing the action of the Senate as disheartening and alarming, Zakari Hashim said that action signifies a dangerous precedent where political interests are prioritized over the will and mandate of the majority of people from the region.

“Let it be known to the Senate that we, as a united front, will resist any attempts to undermine the authority of our President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces for political gains that will jeopardize the aspirations of the majority”, the group vowed.

Comrade Zakari Hashim who said that the group stands firm with the divine nominations of Mr. President, noted that the nominated board members are a true affirmation of the aspirations and mandate of the Northeast region.

He lamented that the Senate is keeping such kind of important nominees silent for a Commission that was created and charged with the responsibility of settlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads, houses and business premises of victims of insurgency, among others.

Zakari who alleged that few individuals are taking advantage of the Vice President-elect to blackmail the President’s nominations, reminded that the Constitution of Nigeria as amended stands supreme above any individual interests.

He said, as representatives of the various Civil Society Organizations, they are urging the Senate to do the needful as directed by Mr. President without hesitation by honoring their constitutional duties to promptly confirm the nominees.

According to him, “Bashir Bukar Ba’ale will be the first Chairman of the Governing Board of the North East Development Commission (NEDC), with a Masters Degree in Humanitarian and Refugee Studies and Masters in International Humanitarian Law, which will no doubt help the Commission in a greater way.”

The group urged the Senate to reconsider their actions and make decisions that are in line with the interests and aspirations of the Nigerian people.

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