By Emma Amaize
EX-MILITANT leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, on Sunday, issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to inaugurate the substantive Board of the Niger – Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
Tompolo, Ibe-Ebidouwei of Ijaw nation, in a statement, said: “I wish to call on Mr. President, members of the National Assembly and security agencies to work towards the constitution of the substantive board of the NDDC, within a few days, to avert a total breakdown of law and order that will equally affect crude oil exploration and exploitation activities in the region.
His words: “I hereby proclaim a seven- day ultimatum starting the date of this publication to inaugurate the substantive board of the Commission.”
“Senator Akpabio’s temporal reprieve from the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) protest is a child’s play compare to what is to come in a few days. He is about to be awakened to the rage of the Niger Delta region,” he warned.
The ex-militant leader, who had remain silent in the creeks of Delta state after Federal High Court, Lagos, dismissed the charges against him, stated: “I have watched and observed with keen interest the circumstances surrounding the constitution of the NDDC board for some time now. I would have continued to keep watching and observing, but for love of the region and the country.”
“The continuous running of NDDC by a sole administrator at the instance of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Akpabio, is undemocratic and anti-development, hence unacceptable to the people of the region. The people of the region are averse to a one man show in a commission that is supposed to attend to the developmental needs of nine states, namely, Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers. It will likely set the region on fire, sooner than later.
“The Act establishing the Commission provided among other things that it will be administered by a Board comprising of a Chairman, Managing Director, Executive Directors and Commissioners who will be drawn from the nine states that made up the region.
“However, this provision has been blatantly undermined by Senator Godswill Akpabio and his co-travelers in the Presidency. There is no provision for either Interim Management Committee or Sole Administration in the Act that establishes NDDC.
“Common sense will tell you that the so called forensic audit that has been used by Senator Akpabio to strangle the commission and it could still be best conducted with a substantive board that brings all representatives from the nine states and other parts of the country,” he added.