My people, I appreciate the discussion concerning the NDDC and my appointment as Special Adviser (SA) on youths, and I have come to realise what a real man the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) made of me.
I thank all those who have contributed negatively and positively to my humble life as well as those that have helped baked me to be UDENGS ERADIRI. I am overwhelmed by the solidarity from this noble platform the Ijaw youth council. NUA….thank you!
I have been called for national service and I will give my all to make a difference, in every meaningful way possible. Nothing is too big or small once it will serve the purpose of progress to our Ijaw nation first and peace to Nigeria at large. I am aware of the concerns of party faithful’s and I also understand the circumstance at the moment but be rest assured that I will be apolitical in the discharge of my duties as I have always done in public office.
I was Honorable Commissioner for Environment, and APC members got contracts awarded by my ministry, not on the basis of the party but competence; I did not close the door based on party affiliation even though I was blackmailed which led to some ugly experiences on my part that I still suffer in my party till today but for me, it wasn’t about the party but to serve Bayelsa people. While I was IYC president, I discharged my duties apolitically that led to me losing my leader’s support for the House of Reps ticket. That will not deter me from focusing on the issues of the real development of our people. I understand the sentiments.
I have come to realise that in life, just be who you are no matter the talks. Jesus Christ as holy as he was had twelve disciples (12) yet there was a Judas so who am I in a society of over 20million Ijaws and Niger Deltans?
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It’s time for us to change strategy my brothers, we Ijaws have been the protesters and agitators in the Niger Delta but who are the billionaires from the NDDC and the oil wealth? Our brothers from other tribes. I know that it’s our strategy that is wrong; We always agitate but miss the opportunities that open up in any conflict situation and that is because we lack the skills and strategy.
We agitated as Ijaw youths and this led to the creation of the NDDC and our dear Bayelsa state. But we were not prepared for the spoils of the conflict so instead of the IYC comrades becoming the governors, assembly members, board members, etc, we left it for others, and today people who knew nothing or have no understanding of the struggle took the positions and they use the power and office they’ve occupied for other purposes order than better the lives of our people and region.
Let us cease-fire and allow me to navigate the course for our people. My capacity to engage is not in doubt so trust me, my comrades. I know that four months is too small to achieve much but with support from my boss I know I can make a difference in your lives and our region. I was commissioner for Environment for five months under the harsh conditions I found myself I struck the rock and water came out. Please let’s calm down and support Akwa, the sole administrator for the short time he will be in charge.
I stand with you on the re-constitution of the board which the minister has already made a pronouncement and so let’s give the benefit of doubt to the Minister for Niger Delta and come on board – let’s all work together to achieve a better Niger Delta region.
This week stakeholders engagement will begin in Warri, delta state where I will be meeting with youth groups starting with IYC after consultation with the leadership and we will together draw up the road map for sustainable and practicable solutions to some of our problems and challenges to enable the sole administrator to have an all-inclusive plan for our young population.
I know you will never fail me as one of you and so I reiterate my appeal for the Ijaw youths to support the sole administrator and Godswill Akpabio the Minister to reposition the NDDC to its purpose for true development of the Niger Delta.
Engr. Udengs Eradiri
SA youth to the Sole Administrator
Niger Delta Development Commission.