The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide has issued President Muhammadu Buhari a one-month ultimatum, from April 25, to inaugurate the substantive board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC) otherwise the Council will not guarantee the safety of oil operations in the region.
The ultimatum was declared by the President of IYC, Comrade Peter Igbifa, while addressing journalists after an expanded Executive and stakeholders’ congress of the Council at Presidential Hotel, Port Harcourt on Sunday, April 25, 2021.
Said he “Council has resolved that we are giving the Federal Government, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, one month ultimatum to close-out on the Board inauguration for the NDDC. We consider NDDC a very critical agency for us in this region. And for this cause we want to make it clear that between now (April 25) and the one month if the Board is not brought in we may not be able to guarantee the safety of oil operations in the region.”
Comrade Igbifa insisted that the Board which is what the NDDC Act recognizes brings representatives from the nine constituent states, and other key stakeholders to guarantee fair representation, probity, checks and balances.
On accountability of the in-coming Board, he assured that “Council, in her different presentations has made it clear that we want to assure that the substantive Board that will come in won’t be a Board that politicians will take hold of and will be held accountable to the people of the region.”
Comrade Igbifa also took strong exception to the politics of personal interests that has delayed the inauguration of a substantive Board. “We rise today with pains in our hearts that even NDDC that would impact on the lives of the youths that came before the North East Development Commission, is suffering from political interests.”
On the much touted forensic audit that has been used as an excuse to delay the inauguration of the Board, The IYC President had this to say: “what is forensic audit that PWC (Price WaterHouse Coopers) didn’t do in NNPC, did the Board step aside? No. The Board was there, investigations were done, and they did their report. Even if you are doing forensic audit of Nigeria as a country, it will not be more than six months.”
Reiterating the resolve of the Ijaw Youth Council to shut down the entire Niger Delta region if their one-month ultimatum is ignored by the Government, Comrade Igbifa warned that “when we say we are shutting down, there will be no activity.
“And that is the major reason, internally in our meeting we have advised our people, anybody you can help, the moment we get close to this, anybody you can help with garri, beans, please do because we are going to lock down activities in the region, no road movement, no water movement, no activity within that period. And that is why we say we cannot guarantee the safety of oil workers at that time. That’s why we gave one month notice.”