By Emma Amaize – Warri
A coalition of agitators in Niger-Delta have urged the Federal Government to promptly inaugurate the governing board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to quench rising anger in the oil states over the detestable manner the National Assembly treated their interests in the newly passed Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB.
The campaigners under the auspices of 21st Century Youths for Niger-Delta and Agitators with Conscience, 21st CYNDAC, in a statement by the coordinator, Izon Ebi, Monday, said: “We call on President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to urgently inaugurate the substantive board of NDDC to douse tensions in the Niger Delta region.”
“We strongly believe that by law and legality, the board has been nominated by the president, screened and confirmed by the Senate of the Federal Republic, so why not inaugurate the board with eminent and qualified gentlemen with capacity that can truly deliver devoid of political interference.
“21ST CYNDAC, therefore, calls on President Buhari, as a matter of utmost urgency, to inaugurate the board of NDDC to avoid the unthinkable with the insult of three percent to host communities in the just passed PIB.
“With the drama and insult to the good people of the Niger Delta region that bears the brunt of oil exploration and exploitation with degradation and life threatening hazards, we may storm the headquarters of NDDC for its shutdown unless the board is inaugurated as promised by the Akpabio.
“We, therefore, call on all our members across the nine states to prepare to occupy NDDC if the substantive board is not inaugurated.
“Our support for Akpabio is because we saw what he did as a governor, his visionary and uncommon transformation of Akwa Ibom state. His call for forensic audit of NDDC was the game changer and its revelations were what made us believe that he meant well and his willingness to spread uncommon transformation to all nooks and cranes of Niger Delta region and its people.
“It is time now to truly do things right and even do better. It is time the right thing is done not to make agitators that have been championing his honesty and commitment look so stupid as if he bought them over. In the cause of supporting you, we have offended superiors and critical stakeholders,” the agitators said.