…Cautions peddlers of falsehood to give peace a chance
By Dirisu Yakubu
As reactions continue to trail appointment of Barrister Effiong Akwa as Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, a group, the Oron Union has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for settling for a man they described as “a leader with capacity and capability to effectively confront the developmental challenges bedeviling the region.”
This is even as the group accused some unnamed leaders in the region of peddling falsehood to the effect that Akwa is not from an oil-producing community in the Niger Delta, describing as erroneous the notion that Akwa was imposed on the NDDC by the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, Barrister Remigius Edebianga, President, Oron Union (Abuja chapter), vowed the readiness of the group to resist any attempt to tarnish the image of Akwa by those bent on putting the oil-rich region perpetually on the map for the wrong reasons.
He said: “The allegation that Barr. Effiong Akwa was unilaterally imposed as the sole administrator of NDDC by the Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio is false. Akwa was first appointed by Mr. President in October 2020 to fill the position of Executive Director, Finance and Administration, which was vacant following the death of Ibanga Etang in the recently dissolved Interim Management Committee, IMC.
“The President’s appointment of Akwa as the Sole Administrator of NDDC followed a High Court judgment, which declared Professor Keme Pondei-led IMC illegal. Since Barr. Akwa was not joined in the suit and it therefore became expedient for Mr. President to elevate him to that position to engender continuity and stability in the management of the NDDC.
“It is a figment of imagination and insults to the person of Mr. President for anybody to think that Senator Akpabio is now dictating and tele-guiding him.
“The allegation that Barr. Akwa is not from oil producing community in the Niger Delta as provided in the NDDC Act is puerile and farther from the truth. The true position is that Barr. Akwa is from Oron, a major oil producing community in Akwa Ibom state in the Niger Delta region.”
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Edebianga added on behalf of Oron Union that the public attacks on the new NDDC boss was simply to put “tar brush on the well-intended, deserved appointment of this illustrious son of the Niger Delta by President Buhari to head the crisis-ridden commission with the assured mandate to fast-track and facilitate the conclusion of the ongoing forensic audit.”
He advised those desirous of seeing genuine developmental strides in the region come to fruition to support the forensic probe being championed by Akpabio, noting that those against the forensic probe are enemies of the region.
“Senator Akpabio should be commended for his ongoing efforts to sanitize and reposition the NDDC in order to deliver on the mandate that informed its establishment. We will resist any attempt to lampoon and attack this illustrious son of the Niger Delta and statesman of immense repute by any individual or groups, who are bent on permanently keeping the Niger Delta down the ladder of development.
“Those playing these dirty cards of campaign of calumny may be the agents of the beneficiaries of rottenness in NDDC who will not want the ongoing forensic audit to succeed.”