…warns region’s politicians against blackmailing President, Minister Akpabio
…Backs Akwa as NDDC sole administrator
By Levinus Nwabughiogu
National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) on Sunday said that President Muhammadu Buhari has surpassed all past Presidents of the country in the development of the Niger Delta region.
The Council said the array of projects that now littered the coastal area was however made possible by the current Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
The youths, therefore, warned the region’s politicians against blackmailing Buhari and Akpabio.
The youths also threw their weight behind the interim sole administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Effiong Akwa for his prudent, transparent, and frugal management of resources which they said witnessed the execution of the projects within a short period of time.
In a communiqué issued after a 3-week tour and assessment on the state of affairs in the Niger Delta region and made available to Vanguard in Abuja, the NYCN said it was impressed by the quantity and quality of work done by the commission under Akwa.
The communiqué, which was signed by NYCN President, Comrade Solomon Adodo and Secretary, Suleiman Musa, further called for support from youths and other stakeholders in the region for Buhari and Akpabio.
The national umbrella youth body vowed to resist any attempt to blackmail the President and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs in their bid to develop the region.
The youth however appealed to governments at all levels in the region, as well as traditional and religious leaders, to consolidate on the feat achieved by the Federal Government in ensuring that the region will attain her rightful place in the national developmental equation.
The statement read thus: “No President has given the Niger Delta the attention it has received under President Muhammadu Buhari. The agitations that had hindered development in the region are being dealt with from the grassroots genuinely. The President has equally stamped his feet in ensuring that there is transparency in the management of NDDC. The forensic audit is one thing that has brought sanity in the administration of the NDDC.
“Considering the outcry by some politicians, particularly those opposed to the drastic reform of the NDDC, it was very surprising to note amongst other things that due to the direct developmental interventions of the Federal Government, the region looks unto the future with greater hope, while appreciating the works being sincerely done.
“That while politicians are in Abuja crying foul and others within their ranks have seized the media to blackmail President Muhammadu Buhari and the Honourable Minister of Niger-Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, the ordinary citizens of the Niger-Delta, who are at least over 99% of the population, welcome the Forensic Audit of the NDDC as ordered by Mr. President.
“That due to the forensic audit, contractors who had hitherto abandoned their jobs after collecting huge sums of money from NDDC have now returned to their project sites to continue the works for which they were paid. Thus every naira of the Federal Government being spent can now be accounted for with matching projects that have directly felt impact on the masses. We have seen firsthand the massive road and bridge constructions simultaneously ongoing in the region amongst other intervention programs.
“That the speedy completion and commissioning of the NDDC permanent headquarters is not only a novel achievement in providing a conducive environment for the discharge of duties of the Commission but also a blockade of a huge loophole through which the resources of the Commission were being siphoned via inflated and unnecessary rent.
“That the relocation of the NDDC from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affair is responsible for the better attention the Commission is receiving, which has translated to better development.
“That any form of blackmail against the President Muhammadu Buhari administration must be met with stiff resistance on account of the several sincere developmental strides of the government in the region.”