By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA — THE Urhobo Youth Assembly, UYA, has urged President Muhammadu to sack the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswil Akpabio within seven days.
UYA in a letter to the President dated August 7, 2020, alleged that in the past 20 years of existence of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, no statutory board of the commission has been so reckless and controversial with its finances like the revelation going on now.
The youth group told President Buhari that the constituted Interim Management Committee, IMC, is not known to the NDDC Act 2000.
The UYA letter was signed by Jude Akpore and Frank Onogagamue, President and Secretary respectively.
The letter read: “The entire leadership and members of the Urhobo Youth Assembly drawn from the 24 Kingdoms spread across the eight Urhobo speaking Local Government Councils of Delta Central and our Urhobo brothers in Warri South, Bomadi and Patani rose from a crucial emergency national meeting in Ughelli over the weekend.
“The meeting was called principally to review the state of the nation via the high powered corruption that has bedevilled the regional interventionist agency, The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) under the supervision of Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio as minister.
“With over 350 youth leaders in attendance, the National President of the UYA, Comrade Jude Akpore briefed the house of the imperatives of ensuring that the Urhobo people with their huge petro-dollar oil and gas resources are not relegated to the back seat when issues that concern the Niger Delta Development are being discussed both at the state and national level.
“The Urhobo nation with over 21 flow stations and cumulative production capacity of over six hundred thousand bpd and host to the largest gas plant in Sub-Sahara Africa, the Otorogu gas plant cannot play second fiddle in the nation’s oil and gas politics and developmental stride.
“Generally, the Urhobo Youths with over 700,000 votes have constantly supported your administration anti-corruption drive and we, therefore, cannot see reason why the current happenings at the NDDC where over N81billion have either be stolen or pocketed by some few individuals under the three members kangaroo Interim Management Committee (IMC) should be allowed to continued.”
The UYA resolved, “That the Federal Government should within the next seven days sack the controversial Minister of Niger Delta Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio, and initiate a thorough process of arresting and prosecuting all those who have looted and diverted funds meant for the development of the oil and gas producing communities of the Niger Delta Region.
“That it is imperative for the government to know that no statutory board of the NDDC in the past 20 years of its existence has been so financially reckless and controversial like this Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio imposed three members kangaroo Interim Management Committee (IMC) that is not known to the NDDC Act 2000.
“That our group has carried out a detailed investigation of all the nominated members of the board who have been screened and confirmed by the National Assembly under the chairmanship of His Excellency Dr. Pius Egberanmwen Odubu and MDship of Chief Bernard Oboatarhieyeren Okumagba and have no hesitation in demanding for their immediate inauguration as persons of high integrity who have displayed high-level professionalism in their previous Government positions.
“That our group is also pleased, that in all the controversial happenings at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Ministry of the Niger Delta Affairs, one man stood out that is the Honourable Minister of State for Niger Delta, the Distinguished Senator Omotayo Donald Alasoadura who we have discovered to be forthright, committed and honest to the Niger Delta Development project.
“And we, therefore, have no hesitation in recommending that he be elevated to the enviable position of the Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to be in charge of the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
“That for proper coordination and monitoring of government funding of agencies with responsibilities for elevating the living standard of downtrodden people of the Niger Delta.
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“We suggest that just like the NDDC the presidential amnesty programme should also be brought under the ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
” Finally, the Congress wholeheartedly endorsed all the pragmatic efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari geared towards addressing the multidimensional problems that has bedevilled oil and gas-rich region of the country and we will continue to speak up anytime any day.”