My attention has been drawn to a publication on “The Nation Newspaper” of August 3rd, 2016 by a group that called itself Niger Delta Volunteers (NDV). It was signed by Commander Ekpo Ekpo, who is the group spokesperson.
Others signatories are Commander Henry Etete, who is the spokesperson NDPLF, Commander Asuquo Henshaw, spokesperson for BFF, Commander Benedict Amakree, spokesperson for Niger Delta Watch Dogs.
The petition was also signed by Commander Hart Bradford of Niger Delta People Liberation Fighters, Commander Kobo Jack of Joint Niger Delta Liberation Fighters, Commander Okorochas Victor of Niger Delta Strike Force, Commander Debekme Jackson of Niger Delta People's Salvation, and Commander Ifeanyi Kalu of Niger Delta People's Liberation Movement.
I will have overlooked the publication but for some reasons, I felt I should clarify some of the issues they raised in their petition. For me, the group only succeeded in telling Nigerians lies.
The aforementioned group stated that the President should “withdraw the nomination of the Chairman and the Managing Director of NDDC from the Senate and replace same with technocrats of proven integrity who have no corrupt record.”
The aforementioned group went further to posit that “these individuals who could not perform in their previous elected/appointed offices and are eyeing 2019 gubernatorial positions in their states.” They went on to describe Obong Nsima as a self centred person as Managing Director designate, is a glaring example of misfit in this board nomination.”
They also described Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba as a person who “has held several positions of trust but has failed to bring anything good to his people.” That, and I qoute “His constituency is crying for development despite the fact that he received huge sums of money as Constituency development projects during his 16 years tenure as a Senator.” They concluded that “His main objective is becoming Governor of Cross River State in 2019 butnot developing Niger Delta.”
I am not worried about the writers of the petition. My worry is the millions of Nigerians who may have been misled by this malicious write up. The write up did not capture the person or personality of Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) at all. As a Cross Riverian, I am very proud to talk about Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) anywhere in the world.
Having known him throughout his 12 years in the senate, it will be a disservice to my people from Cross River State if I don't correct this misconceptions as peddled by this faceless people that called themselves NDV.
First, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) did not spend 16 years in the senate as purported by this faceless unenlightened bandits. Senator Distinguish Victor Ndoma-Egba spent 12 years in the senate of meritorious service to the people of Cross River State in particular, the Niger Delta region, and Nigeria in Nigeria. He was the Senate Leader, a position he held until his exit.
While in the senate, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) spoke avidly on the deplorable conditions of all federal roads in the country. A situation that led him advocate for the construction of the Trans African road from Ekok in Cameroon to Enugu in Nigeria. Other constituency roads projects included the Obubra-Iyamong in Obubra LGA, Moturay road in Ikom, Ajassor Road, Akparabong Roads in Ikom, Apiapum Town Road, Usmontong-Ediba Road in Abi, Kakwagum Road in Boki, Boki Dam Road.
In his inspection tour in April of 2014, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) inspected of 74 constituency projects. Perhaps it will be worthwhile that I mention a few here for the benefit of a few doubting thomases.
In Abi LGA of Cross River State for instance, Senator Distinguish Victor Ndoma-Egba SAN has helped in the following projects:
1. Drainage and Irrigation (Flood and Erosion Control) works in Ediba.
2. Flood and Erosion Control works in Usumutong.
3.Mini Water Supply Scheme, Usumutong.
4. Classroom Block, Enugwema Secondary School, Ediba.
5. Construction of Police Station, Itigidi.
In Yakurr LGA, Senator Distinguish Victor Ndoma-Egba inspected the following projects:
1. Erosion Control Works at St Patrick Secondary Secondary School, Ugep
2. Idomi Water Supply Scheme.
3. Mkpani Water Supply Scheme.
4. Library Complex, Community Secondary School, Ugep.
In Obubra LGA, the Senator Distinguish Victor Ndoma-Egba SAN inspected:
1. Flood and Erosion Control Works at Apiapum.
2. Iyamoyong Water Supply Scheme
3. Primary HealthCare Centre.
4. Classroom Block, Primary School Ogada.
The following are projects inspected in Ikom LGA:
1. Flood and Erosion Control Works, Akam
2. Ikom Erosion Control Works.
3. Flood and Erosion Control Works, Akparabong.
4. Akparabong/Aduinkpor Water Supply Scheme.
5. Specialist Hospital, Ikom.
6. Edo Surface Water Scheme.
7. Renovation of Police Station, Ikom Barrack.
8. Classroom Block, Abankang.
9. Classroom Block, Akparabong.
10. Classroom Block, Aduinkpor.
11. Solar Street Lights
12. Classroom Block, St Martin Primary School.
13. Classroom Blocks, Government Sec. School, Ikom
14. ICT Centre, Government Sec. School, Ikom
15. ICT Centre, Convent Road.
16. Opu Water Supply Scheme.
17. Hand Pump Borehole, Enoghi Secondary School.
18. Solar Powered Street lights, Akparabong Farm.
19. Mini Water Works, Akparabong Farm.
20. Primary Health Centre, Akparabong.
In Etung LGA, Senator Distinguish Victor Ndoma-Egba SAN inspected the following projects:
1. Classroom Block, Nsofang
2. Ajassor Flood and Erosion Control Works.
3. Ikom-Ajassor-Mfum Highway.
4. Benghege-Ekiem Water Project.
5. Classroom Block, EtomI.
6. Ikom-Agbokim Road.
The projects inspected in BOKI LGA are:
1. Iruan Dam Project.
2. Flood and Erosion Control Work, Iruan.
3. Flood and Erosion Control Works, Kakwagom.
4. Flood and Erosion Control Works at Bateriko.
5. Classroom Block in Ogep.
6. Hand Pump in Osokom
7. Classroom Block, Wula.
8 Water Supply Scheme, Wula.
The Senator also found it necessary to donate a constituency project to the University of Calabar by building a Law Faculty Building.
The Senator Distinguish Victor Ndoma-Egba SAN has a reputation in Computer Literacy Development Initiative. In fact, he is the first among Cross River State politicians to conceive such a noble initiative. Today, students in the central senatorial district can be proud to him because, he made the computer based Jamb Examination a child play for them. It is verified that the central senatorial district has the highest examination quota by merit in Cross River State.
Over 10, 000 students from everywhere have been massively trained for free for various computer literacy programs.
It is quite sad that the so called Niger Delta Volunteer group did not make a search on Google about the achievements of Senator Distinguish Victor Ndoma-Egba SAN. A search on Google of Victor Ndoma-Egba will pop out different topics. Many talked about about his youths empowerment initiative through literacy programs.
As a leading lawyer in Cross River State, Senator Distinguish Victor Ndoma-Egba has a scholarship program that many underprivileged students benefited and depended on to go through a higher institution. Till now, the Victor Ndoma-Egba scholarship is a very popular scholarship initiative in Cross River State. The scholarship program has provisions for First Degrees-Ph.D both in Nigeria. This is apart from the many text messages he receive for different financial assistance from students all over Nigeria.
Senator Distinguish Victor Ndoma-Egba SAN, has also helped in the aspect of medical relief/assistance to so many poor families in Cross River State for the treatment of different ailments and payments of hospital bills for different sickness.
Cross Riverians, and indeed Nigerians were trying to catch their breath when on Saturday 24th May, 2014, he again turned the Nation's attention to his constituency. He invited the NNigerians to the tour of all his constituency projects. On this day, 48 eight cars including brand new cars were given, in addition to 26 that were given in the previous weeks.
Oil mills, garri processing mill, generators, farming implements and laptops were given to ICT students from across the State. 121 graduands of the Central Bank of Nigeria run Enterprise Development Centre in Calabar were given 200,000.00 Naira each as seed money for their business start up.
The women were not left out. One million Naira was given to each of 6 Local Government Areas as seed money for petty trading, and another one million Naira for widows to start anything of their choice. These funds were directly dropped into bank account for them. This has increased a workable relationship with them bank. Churches were given complete musical/band sets. These interventions were necessary after very careful needs assessment from the churches. He has distributed different relief materials at different times to the people suffering from flood and other seasonal disasters occassioned by rain during the rainy seasons.
The core responsibility of a legislator is law making. In this area Senator Ndoma-Egba is credited with 38 Bills including "The Freedom of Information Bill" which is now an Act of the National Assembly, and many motions ranging from the Bakassi People, The Plight of Pensioners, and many more. He was always active on the floor, and never disappointed people when it come to contentious national issues.
1. Nigerian Prisons Services Act (Repeal & Re-enactment Bill 2009. An Act to real CAP P.29 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and
To make comprehensive provision for Administration of Prisons in Nigeria and other related purposes
2. The Nigerian Community Services Bill 2009
An Act to provide for and regulate Community Services for offenders on certain cases and to provide for related matters.
3. Criminal Justice (Victim’s Remedies) Bill 2009. An Act to provide for remedies for victims of Crime and for Matters connected thereto
4. Abolition of Discrimination Against Women Bill 2009. An Act to Enact on Act to Abolition of all forms of Discrimination. Against Women in Nigeria and other related matters
5. Legal Aid Act Amendment Bill 2008. An Act to Amend Comprehensively the legal Aid Act 1976 (as Amended by Decree No. 22 of 1994) in line with international standards and to provide for the Establishment of Legal Aid and Access to Justice Fund into which financial Assistance would be made available to the Council to prosecute their Chains in accordance with the constitution and further to empower the existing legal aid council to be responsible for the operation of a scheme for the grant of legal aid and access to justice in certain matters or proceeding to persons with inadequate resources in accordance with the provision matters or proceedings to persons with inadequate resources in accordance with the provision of this Act (1976 No. 56 1978 No. 34, 1970, No. 18, 1986 , No. 10 1990 No. 205 1994 No. 22).
6. Legal Practitioners’ Act (Amendment Bill, 2008 A Bill for An Act to Amend the Legal Practitioners’ Act and Purposes Connected Therewith 2008 7. Freedom of Information Bill 2008 A BILL FOR An Act to make public records and information more freely available, provided for public access to public records and information to the Extent consistent with the public interest and the protection of personal privacy, protect serving public officers from Adverse consequences for disclosing certain kinds of official information without authorization and establish procedures for the achievement of those purposes and related purposes thereof.
8. National Human Rights Commission Act Amendment Bill 2008 An Act to Amend the National Human Rights Commission Act 1995 and other related matters connected therewith.
9. Elimination of Violence in the Society Bill 2009 An Act to eliminate violence in private or public life, in peace and conflict situation to prohibit and punish all forms of violence in the society and to provide maximum protection and effective remedies to all victims of violence
10. Chartered Auctioneers Registration Council of Nigeria Bill 2009 A Bill for An Act to establish the Council of Chartered Auctioneers of Nigeria and to provide for matters related thereto
11. River Basins Development Authorities Act Amendment Bill 2009 A Bill for An Act to Amend the provisions of the River Basins Development Authorities Act, CAP R9
12. The Legislative House (Powers, Privileges & Immunities) and for other incidental matters
13. A Bill for An Act to Amend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Cap C.23 Laws of the Federation of 2004 for the establishment of the National Industrial Court in the Constitution.
14. National Project Monitoring Agency (est, etc) Bill 2001.
15. University of Abuja College of Medicine Bill 2001.
16. Indigenous Oil Companies (Regulations and Fiscal Terms) Bill 200.
17. Petroleum Profit Tax (Amendment) Bill 2001.
18. Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund Act (Amendment) Bill 200.
19. Trustees Investment Act (Amendment) Bill 2001.
20. Federal Mortgage Bank (Repeal and Re-enactment Bill 2011.
21. Abuja Geographic Information Systems Agency (AGIS) Bill 200.
24. Downstream Gas Bill 2011.
25. National Automotive Design and Development Council Bill, 2012.
26. Transfer of Convicted Offender (Enactment & enforcement Bill 2011).
27. Nigeria In Diaspora (Establishment Commission Bill 2011.
28. A Bill for an Act to Establish the Legal Services Commission; and for Related Purposes.
29. A Bill for an Act to Govern the Legal Profession; and for Related Purposes.
MOTIONS SPONSORED/CO-SPONSORED BY SENATOR VICTOR NDOMA-EGBA OFR, S.A.N.
1. Gruesome Murder of Female Youth Corp Member in Maiduguri.
2.Abandonment of Nigerian Ship Crew in captivity in Somalia.
3.Impending Crisis in and Uncertain faith of the people of Bakassi.
4.Motion on the Tsunamis Disaster.
5. Delineation of Electoral Wards/constituencies by INEC.
6. Bomb Attacks in Warri.
7. Refusal of the Group Managing Director (GMD) of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to honour the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources Upstream’s Inquiry on the Revenue and Expenditure Profit of NNPC from Sept. 2007 – Sept. 2009.
8. The Earthquake in the Republic of Haiti.
9. Proclamation of State of Emergency in Certain Local Government Areas of the Country.
10. National Assembly Procurement Process.
11. Demise of Amb. Mathew Tawo Mbu.
12. Matters of Urgent Public Importance (Coup in Mali and Elections in Senegal).
As far as representation is concerned, the bar to catch up with the Senator Distinguish Victor Ndoma-Egba legacy in Cross River State is high. He has raised the stakes and it is a challenge to all other representatives in the Senate now. Throughout his stay in the Senate, we have never seen pictures of him sleeping, or heard about his involvement in budget padding controversies. Instead, the Nigerian Nation has been reminded that there is an eminent vacuum that cannot be filled in a long time to come because, there is non like him yet in the Senate from Cross River State. His Valedictory Speech on the day he exited the Senate attracted a national ovation.
In fact, time and space cannot allow me to state the impact Senator Distinguish Victor Ndoma-Egba has had on his people in Cross River State, and Nigeria in general. The Senator Distinguish, has all it takes to lead any parastatal, commission, and or ministry in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He is one of the most experienced politician in Cross River State. His ability to treat every individual he comes in contact with first, as a Nigerian and then the region you come from is one single aspect that has set him apart as a nationalist.
Senator Distinguish Victor Ndoma-Egba's appointment as the Chairman NDDC is timely and mostly appreciated now. His ability to treat all people equal will be used to solve most of the problems hindering development in the Niger Delta region. Senator Distinguish Victor Ndoma-Egba does not care what ethnic group one comes from, and this will be handy when dealing with ethnic polarized regions like Niger Delta.
The appointment of Senator Distinguish Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) as Chairman of NDDC was met with wide jubilation across Cross River State. People in the Central Senatorial District celebrated for days. This shows the happiness of the people to the man Ndoma-Egba because of what he has been able to do to his immediate constituency, Cross River State, and Nigeria at large. To say that Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) has not done anything good to his people is to say according to Chinese people that “fish don't breathe.”
It is far from the truth for the group NDV to say that Senator Distinguish Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) is nursing the ambition to contest the governorship elections in 2019, and not to develop the Niger Delta region. As far as I'm concern, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) may never contest election again. But he will be willing to take any responsibility he is seen as capable to drive the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Senator Distinguish Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) is the right man to heal the wounds and heartbreak of the people in the Niger Delta region. I am optimistic that by the end of his tenure as the Chairman NDDC, all factions and fractions that has occassioned our disunity as a region, may have been healed.
I congratulate our Distinguish Leader, Senator, Sir Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) on his call serve his people. Once again, Congratulations to the man wey sabi.
Let the dialogue for peace start now!
Long live Nigeria!
Long live Niger Delta region!
Long live Niger Delta people!
Ifere Paul writes from Abuja.