A civil society group, the New Initiative for Credible Leadership (NICREL), on Saturday, asked the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF), Ahmed Bobboi, to step down immediately over alleged lopsided recruitment into the agency.
In a statement signed by its Executive Director, Cyprian Godknows, and sent to Ripples Nigeria, the group condemned the recruitment exercise conducted by the agency in 2020, alleging that only 17 of the 200 persons hired were from the oil producing states.
Godknows said the outcome of the process was an unfair representation of the Niger Delta.
He lamented that the region which is the nation’s cash-cow has been shortchanged and denied their quota in the PEF.
The statement read: “NICREL wish to state that as people who suffer environmental degradation and who have lost their sources of livelihood as a result of oil exploration, the people of Niger Delta should have been given special consideration and priority from PEF Board during the recruitment.
“We state that the exercise violates the spirit of Federal Character principles. This is because while oil-producing states such as Akwa Ibom got only two slots, Bayelsa (4), Cross River (2), Delta (3), Edo (0), Ondo (0), and Rivers (2), the non-oil producing states such as Adamawa got 16, Bauchi (9), Borno (13), Kano (19) and Katsina (14) in the recruitment exercise.
“The action by the PEF Board under Ahmed Bobboi is capable of reigniting violence and militancy in the Niger Delta region.
“Ahmed Bobboi must not be allowed to throw the region into violence which will in turn, give President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration a bad name.
“We, therefore, demand that Ahmed Bobboi reverse the lopsided recruitment which is even a clear breach of the embargo on recruitment by Mr. President. He should also resign his position as Executive Secretary.”
NICREL warned that failure to comply with the directive within one week would force the group to occupy the Presidential Villa and Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).