Niger Delta Youth Governance Monitoring Group, has condemned the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs for poor outing at the National Council on Niger Delta meeting held in Akure.
The group in a statement by its Spokesman, Mr Emmanuel U. Justin in Yenagoa on Monday, flayed the disharmony between the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Usani and stakeholders in the Niger Delta region.
It attributed the poor attendance to the disagreement between both parties.
The meeting was held in Akure, Ondo State from Sept. 7 to Sept. 14.
It said that it was regrettable that the minister in connivance with the Country Director of UNDP, Mr Mathew Alao opposed the participation of youth leaders who were invited to participate at the meeting.
It said that Usain deliberately excluded the youths who formed the majority in the Niger Delta region, an indication that he did not have the interest of the people he was supposed to represent in government.
The group said that the council’s inability to form the requisite quorum to enable it formulate policy direction to drive the ministry rendered the whole exercise “ a nullity and illegal’’.
“No other minister from the region, members of National Assembly, representatives of International Oil Company, or governors from the region were present at the Akure Council meeting.
“This was a far cry from the inaugural edition which held in Uyo in 2013, which had all the relevant stakeholders and now they all shunned the second edition,” it said.
The group also frowned at comments by the minister suggesting that the Niger Delta master plan developed by seasoned technocrats was at great cost and the commitment over the years had been jettisoned.
“Abandoning the Niger Delta master plan for a work plan developed by the ministry without inputs from the youths, women, other civil society organisations and the organised private sector is against the concept of continuity in governance,’’ it said.