17 October 2011
FURTHER details emerged at the weekend indicating that the retirement of former Acting Managing-Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Pastor Power Ziakede Aginighan, was as a result of the Federal Government’s determination to ensure a smooth transition since he was senior to the new acting Managing-Director, Mrs Osato Arenyeka.
The Federal Government approved the retirement of Aghinighan a letter dated October 12, 2011 and endorsed by the acting Managing-Director. It was gathered that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), who supervises the commission on behalf of the president, endorsed the retirement.
Sources close to the office of the SGF said, on Sunday, that the former executive director at the NDDC was retired after 29 years in public service, adding that his disengagement became necessary in order to allow for a “smooth transition” in the commission.
The source said that the case was peculiar because he was part of the dissolved board but originally a staff of the commission who rose through the ranks.
“So, if there was an action that has inadvertently removed him from office arising from the dissolution, a further action must be taken to formalise his own case since he was not originally a political appointee,” a source said, adding that it would be improper to ask Aghinighan to report to the incumbent Acting Managing Director, who once reported to him as Executive Director.
Aginighan, who confirmed the receipt of the retirement letter said he was grateful to God for his service in the commission.
He said on telephone: “In the first place, I am surprised how you got to know of this; but I can tell without mincing words that this is a very wonderful development in my life. I can only thank God that the Commission finds me worthy of formal disengagement from its services because it is not an easy thing to work for such number of years without blemish, I will be ungrateful to say otherwise.”
It also emerged at the weekend that governors of many NDDC states had come under intense lobbying following moves to reconstitute the board.
It was learnt that President Goodluck Jonathan had communicated the governors for their nominees and that intense battles had been ongoing in the states.
The lobbyists were said to have resorted to playing the ethnic cards in canvassing support for their preferred candidates. While there was pressure mounting on the president in the appointment of the commission’s chairman; managing-director as well as the two executive directors, who shall be appointed directly by the president, state governors came also come under pressure as regards their nominees to the president as members of the governing board.