The Movement for the Protection of Iwere Homeland, Development and History (MPIHDH), has called on President Mohammadu Buhari to disregard alleged shortlisted names for the anticipated Niger Delta Development Commission board from the recent visit of the Honorable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Sen. Dr. Godswill Akpabio to Mr. Government Ekpemukpolo Tompolo.
The MPIHDH demanded equity, fairness, and good conscience while constituting the next Board of the NDDC.
This was contained in a statement signed by its president and secretary Comrade Aderojor James Ereku and Comrade Lucky Ayomike Okonedo noting that “ We have closely monitored the successive events that culminated into the visit of the Honorable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio in company with the ever-present anti-Itsekiri Delta State Deputy Governor, Barrister Kingsley Burutu Otuaro whenever any high powered delegation from the Federal level is visiting our areas as we saw when the members of the Senate Committee on the PIB came for an on the spot assessment of the damages and negative effects of the exploration activities of multinationals in our homeland few months ago where the Deputy Governor mischievously tried unsuccessfully to create a false impression that the Ijaws of Gbaramatu who are Itsekiri customary tenants as pronounced by courts of competent jurisdictions are the exclusive and absolute owners of the place by deliberately excluding the Itsekiri ethnic nationality representatives from such an important visit.
“Again, we are seeing the same script of that same agenda playing out by the stubborn insistence by Tompolo that the meeting scheduled for Port Harcourt be shifted to his house so that the false impression they have always intend to use to sell their agenda will be achieved.
“We are not unmindful of the fact that it was immediately after the same Deputy Governor left with the members of the Senate Committee on the PIB that Ijaw youths in their hundreds led by the Gbaramatu Youths President one Shedrack Ebikeme Onitsha, declared falsely that Omadino, Kantu, and Jaghala communities, all belonging to the Itsekiri people under the over lordship of the Olu of Warri were declared as Ijaw lands.
“It is also on record that it was after the same visit that our people were forcefully evacuated from their ancestral homeland of Abiteye, Uton-Nana and Macaraba flowstations by the same Gbaramatu Youths before they invaded Omadino Community where they killed one innocent Itsekiri son and abducted others. Now that the same Deputy Governor Otuaro has brought Sen. Godswill Akpabio to the same place to also send the old agenda, only God knows what they will sponsor their youths to do this time around.
“We do not hold the view that other ethnic nationalities who are oil-producing nationalities cannot legally demand what is rightfully and Constitutionally theirs, the visit of the Honorable Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs Sen. Godswill Akpabio has again revealed one fact. The Federal and State governments have by their express agreements and conduct over the years shown that the ONLY language that it recognizes and that will compel it to come to the negotiations tables is violence and total disruption of its business Interest in the Niger Delta region.
“We have decided to openly tow this line without further delay since the peaceful disposition of our people to always seek peaceful means to resolve issues has been misconstrued as an act of weakness and cowardice by successive governments both at the state and federal level.
“ We are aware that section 4 of the NDDC Act 2000 provides inter alia that the position of the office of the Chairman of the Commission shall be on a rotational basis alphabetically starting from the 9 states that make up the Commission.
“It is on record that from Mr. Onyema Ugochuckwu from Abia State who was the first pioneer Chairman of the NDDC to Bassey Dan Abia from Akwa-Ibom State, Sen. Victor Ndoma Egba from Cross Rivers State, Prof. Kemebredikumo Pondei from Bayelsa State, it is vividly clear that it is the turn of Delta State to produce both the Chairman and Managing Director of the NDDC as we speak.
“Since it is the turn of Delta State to produce the Chairman and Managing Director of the substantive Board of the NDDC, it is equitable, just, reasonable and legal to also appoint the Board Chairman and Managing Director using the same statutory provision of the Act creating the NDDC as clearly stipulated under section 12(1) of the Act which provides thus.
“Mr. President we are privy to the list submitted to the Honorable Minister on his visit on Thursday 3rd June 2021 through Tompolo as “Itsekiri list for NDDC Board Appointment” We wish to declare without any form of ambiguity that the Movement and the Itsekiri people will not accept any list from such a kangaroo meeting with people who do not have our mandate or express authority of the Itsekiri people to present such a list”.