By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
YOUTHS from the nine Niger Delta states under the aegis of Consolidated Youths of Niger Delta, CYND, have warned ex-militants to withdraw the seven-day ultimatum threat to board of the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC, over non-payment for the water hyacinth jobs awarded to them.
The 21st Century Youths of Niger Delta and Agitators with Conscience led by their leader, General Izon Ebi, had threatened to shut down NDDC offices within seven day if Prof. Nelson Brambaifa led board failed to pay them after executing the contract.
But reacting, the CYND group led by its National Coordinator, Comrade Frank Naday expressed dismay over the threat.
CYND in a statement in Uyo by Naday noted that “this is not the time for the region to be drawn into another round of conflagration as the Federal Government strives to douse the tension through systematic empowerment of the youths by the NDDC.
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“Since the emergence of this Prof. Brambaifa-led NDDC board, over 5,000 youths have benefitted from the water hyacinth jobs and other empowerment schemes.
“We will respond appropriately if the ex-militants ignore the voices of reason and carry out their threats to disrupt the agency’s activities.
“We are aware that the Acting Managing Director of the Commission, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa, and his team are working very hard to make more payments to those who are yet to receive their water hyacinth jobs and other empowerment programmes”
Naday, therefore, urged the former freedom fighters to sheathe their swords and works with the board to ensure the socio-economic development of the region.
“Development can only thrive in an atmosphere of peace; therefore, we should not allow politicians to use us as cannon-fodder to set our region and our natural resources ablaze. Niger Delta is our home. If we destroy it, we will have no other place to go”
The group, however, appealed to President Buhari to confirm Brambaifa as the substantive Managing Director of the Commission, saying such “gesture would further strengthen his position to administer the NDDC without fear or favour.
“Brambaifa has all the qualities to occupy the position in the interest of peace, stability and development of the region”.