Niger Delta Youth Council (NDYC) and the National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-agitators, Ijaw Youth Council amongst others have urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to be deterred by criticisms of the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) saying it was the handiwork of enemies of the region orchestrated by youths outside the region.
The groups that thronged out in Abuja on Monday to counter the protests in support of the interim committee of the NDDC which it described as illegal and an attempt to undermine the powers of President Muhammad Buhari to appoint the Board also urged the Senate to discountenance the campaign of calumny against the Senate Committee chairman on Niger Delta.
Addressing journalists during the protests, National Coordinator of NDYC, Engr. Jator Abido; National President, National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex Agitators, Eshanekpe Isreal a.k.a Akpodoro; Barr Henry Iyalla Spokesperson of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), and Beke Apere for Niger Delta Stakeholders challenged those calling for continuity of the interim committee to publish their names and identities.
“We in Niger-Delta region appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for his sincerity in addressing the challenges in the region. That we are not some paid groups who are not concerned if the Niger-Delta is inflamed. We are true leaders in the Niger-Delta who have confirmable name addresses and antecedents.
“The issue of inaugurating the screened board of the NDDC has nothing to do with whatever allegation against any Senator.
This board was appointed by Mr President who found these compatriots worthy and the Senate committee agreeing with the views of President Buhari cannot constitute a problem, except the ones created by makers of this dangerous mischief.
We stand with the decision of the Nigerian Senate to stand in defence of the NDDC Act”.
The groups further expressed support for the forensic audit of the NDDC but insisted that obeying the law by inaugurating the board will not obstruct the exercise.
They further urged the Senate not to fall to what they described as cheap blackmail calls for disbandment of its committee on Niger Delta, adding that the protesters were trying to confuse the issues.
“We urge the Senate to stand firm on the rule of law and be steadfast on its resolution that the new NDDC board be inaugurated. It should not buckle under any cheap blackmail.
They urged the president to direct the inauguration of the new board, adding that, “the refusal to inaugurate the Board which has been screened is a straight call for anarchy and it should be averted. We, therefore, call for peace in the Niger-Delta and urge the President to inaugurate the Board forthwith.”