By Emem Idio, Yenagoa
Project Niger Delta, PND, a non governmental organisation in the Niger Delta has rebuked the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio over the delayed inauguration of the substantive board of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
According to the group, the continued delayed in inaugurating the board of the NDDC is ” deliberately orchestrated by the Minister for selfish political gains against the collective demands of the Niger Delta people.”
PND in a statement by its Executive Director and National Coordinator, Comrade Prince Timipre Ebebi, said the people of the region are not happy with the procrastination of the inauguration of the board six months after the minister’s promise.
While calling for the immediate inauguration of the NDDC board, Ebebi recalled that the minister had promised that the board will be inaugurated by July 2021, regretting that the minister was taking the stakeholders and people of the region for granted.
He warned that if the board is not inaugurated soonest, the group will mobilise youths of the region against the Minister and Interim Administrator and flayed the non-chalant attitude of youths groups in the region particularly the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC.
He called on the leadership of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, the Ijaw National Congress,INC, and other ethnic groups in the region to rise and speak out against the perceived injustice meted out to the people of the region through the failure in inaugurating a substantive board for the NDDC.
He said: “Since December 22, 2020, Mr.Effiong Akwa has been appointed by Mr President through the lobbying of Sen.Godswill Akpabio as Interim Administrator of NDDC and the duo hail from Akwa-Ibom, since then the collective prosperity and federal government developmental incentives to the region are been managed by one lion family led by Sen. Godswill Akpabio and our resources are been used for personal gains despite our consistent appeal and peaceful resolution, the minister has paid deaf ears.
“We at PND hereby call on Sen Akpabio not to take us for granted and expedite actions to inaugurate the board for the benefit of all, anything less than that, we shall mobilise Niger Delta youths against him and the Interim Administrator who are sabotaging the collective interest of the Niger Delta people.
“Project Niger Delta also query the nonchalant attitude of the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, led by Comrade Timothy Igbifa, for its long silence and also call on the leadership of the Ijaw National Congress, INC, led by Prof. Benjamin Okaba to continue to speak against the apparent leadership failure of Sen.Godswill Akpabio in relation to the handling of the NDDC matters.
“In the same vein we are also calling on Pa E. K Clark led Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, to speak out against the further delay in the inauguration of the NDDC board, because as it stands NDDC belongs to only Akwa-Ibom State, while Cross River, Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa, Edo, Ondo, Abia and Imo states are being denied their representation to fast track development in their states thereby defeating the purpose for the establishment of the commission.”