Niger-Delta youths plead for new NDDC Board

Godswill Akpabio

Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs:

Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs

By Collins Yakubu-Hammer

The Niger Delta Youth Council (NDYC) has urged the Federal Government to inaugurate the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

This, they said, will help to prevent the resumption of hostilities in the region of the country.

Its National Coordinator, Mr Jator Abido, appealed in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

Abido cautioned that if the Federal Government did not inaugurate a substantive board for the Commission, it may lead to the resumption of hostilities in the region.

Consequently, the council wants the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio to be proactive in the inauguration of the board or else, all fingers would point towards him as being responsible for the current and future crisis in the region.

According to Abido, the council is constrained to continue in its efforts to calm frail nerves over the arbitrary administration of the NDDC.

“It would be recalled that some prominent ex-Niger Militants led by Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo, had issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to inaugurate the substantive Board of the NDDC.

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“The ploy by Akpabio that the board could not be inaugurated because of forensic audit is laughable and does not hold water.

“If his intention is genuine, the right thing to do was to put a substantive board that brings all representatives from the nine states and other parts of the country.

“The insistent of some cabal to jettison the screened board of the NDDC for a sole administrator, is totally unaccepted and anti-development to the people of the region,” Abido stressed.

He explained that the people of the region were not signatory to a one-man show in a commission that is supposed to attend to the developmental needs of all the states in the region.

Abido emphasised that the Act establishing the commission provided among other things that it will be administered by a Board comprising of a Chairman, Managing Director, Executive Directors and Commissioners who will be drawn from the nine states that made up the region.

“However, this provision has been blatantly undermined, because, there is no provision for either Interim Management Committee or Sole Administration in the Act that establishes NDDC,” he said.