An ex-militant leader, Eshanekpe Israel, a.k.a Akpodoro has called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to as a matter of urgency inaugurate the Pius Odubu and Bernard Okumagba-led board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to forestall violent reactions in the oil-rich region.
Akpodoro who is an avowed supporter of the President noted that his administration has made achievements in many areas of the economy and security but shouldn’t throw the region into chaos as a result of what he described as Mr Buhari’s tardiness at inaugurating the statutorily screened board members of the intervention agency having received the report of the much-awaited forensic audit of the Commission since inception.
The appeal according to the Urhobo-born former warlord became necessary due to the need to calm frail nerves and to also sustain the popularity of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC in the region saying, to do otherwise is to create bad blood among the APC family.
Recall that the President in the wake of his order for a forensic audit to be carried out in the Commission had appointed Akwa-led Committee to midwife the agency through the process until the report is submitted to the Federal Government and the forensic audit had reportedly been submitted to the President.
At the backdrop of the submission of the report, Akpodoro who doubles as the Coordinator of the National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators, NCNDE-A maintained that the submission of the audit report should pave the way for the President to inaugurate the screened board without further delay to birth a new agency that will take the region to a ‘superlative height.’
The NDDC owe it a duty to develop human and material resources in the region particularly the empowerment of the youth population, a process he noted can only be possible with the screened board who he said are time-tested technocrats whose hallmarks have been hard work and honesty.
A major player in the disarmament of the militants shortly after the Presidential Amnesty was declared in 2009, Akpodoro said if delayed further, the President would be likened to a man who destroyed his own structure by himself stressing that, the current administration has been able to earn the confidence of the people over time in his seeming developmental strides but should add the inauguration of Okumagba board to consolidate the process.
The people of the region, Akpodoro noted, need a functional intervention agency like the NDDC stressing that having received the report of the auditors, it is time to set the Commission on the path of regional growth and development.
Odubu and Okumagba board, when inaugurated he said, will hit the ground running to ensure that the regional agency is removed from the woods of past maladministration and dearth of progress occasioned by poor infrastructural development in the region. The auditors he said, must have seen through all the causes of backwardness in the region owing to the failure of the agency to address the core concerns saying the new board will be ready to file all the rough edges and set the commission in the right direction.
He called on the youths in the region to show more understanding and support for the administration while the nation awaits the inauguration of the screened board.