January 7, 2023

Why we’re standing with NDDC board chair, Onochie – N’Delta youth


says Niger Deltans’ll breathe fresh air

By Gabriel Ewepu

ABUJA- NIGER Delta youths under the auspices of Niger Delta Youth Congress, NDYC, Friday, explained why they are solidly standing with the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Board Chairperson, Lauretta Onochie, because she will use her fearlessness and patriotism to change the narrative in the region, which her male predecessors had failed the region since inception.

 Speaking with Vanguard, the National Coordinator, NDYC, Comrade Israel Uwejeyan, said Onochie’s track record had overtime shown her patriotism and passion for national development, and not to talk of the Niger Delta region she hails from.

Uwejeyan also said the coming on board with her, Niger Deltans will breathe fresh air in every area because she has been a proactive and pragmatic personality whose leadership will impact positively on the lives of the people in a short time, and all forms of corruption will be dealt with that her predecessors could not address as far as development of the region is concerned.

He also noted that she is the first female board chairperson of the NDDC, and added that the issue of performance and impact does not lie in gender rather is the determination and doggedness of a leader who means well for his or her people, and the youth strongly believe that she is capable to change the narrative in the region.

He said: “We hail and appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for the appointment of an ‘Iron Lady’ in the person of Luaretta Onochie, at this time after four years NDDC remained with no board, and the appointment is the best thing that has happened to the people of the region.

“The Niger Delta Youth Congress (NDYC) is pleased to hail the appointment of Lauretta Onochie as the first female to head the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

 “As a strong advocate for women’s empowerment and good governance, we believe that Onochie is well-suited to lead the NDDC in its efforts to promote sustainable development in the Niger Delta region.

“We believe that Onochie’s appointment represents a new chapter in the history of the NDDC, as it signals a commitment to diversity and inclusivity at the highest levels of decision-making.

“As the first female to hold this important position, Onochie brings with her a unique perspective and a wealth of experience. We are confident that she will be able to effectively represent the interests of all stakeholders in the Niger Delta, and work towards the betterment of the region as a whole.

“As members of the Niger Delta Youth Congress (NDYC), we fully support the recent statement made by Onochie, which she rightly called out the NDDC as a shame in Nigeria and has vowed that it will not be business as usual going forward.

“For too long, the NDDC has failed to live up to its mandate of improving the lives of the people of the Niger Delta region. Despite being established over 20 years ago, the region remains one of the poorest and most underdeveloped in the country. This is a damning indictment of the NDDC and its inability to effectively carry out its duties.

“The NDDC has been plagued by corruption and mismanagement, with billions of Naira being siphoned off by corrupt officials instead of being used for the benefit of the people. This has led to a widespread lack of trust in the organization and a feeling of hopelessness among the youth of the region.

“It is heartening, therefore, to see her take such a strong stance against the status quo. By pledging to put an end to business as usual at the NDDC, she is sending a clear message that the days of corruption and mismanagement are over.

“As young people, we are encouraged by this leadership and we stand solidly stand with Onochie in her efforts to bring about real change at the NDDC and the region.”

However, the group called on NDDC, Niger Delta people and the Federal Government to support her to achieve mandate of the NDDC.

“We call on all members of the NDDC, as well as the federal government, to support her in this endeavor and to work together to bring about the much-needed development and progress that the people of the Niger Delta deserve.

He also added that, “It is time for the NDDC to live up to its mandate and to deliver on its promise to improve the lives of the people of the Niger Delta. With the strong leadership of Onochie, we have confidence that this can be achieved and that a brighter future is within reach for the people of the region.

He also appealed to the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NDDC, Samuel Ogbuku on working selflessly for the people of the region.

“We the youths of the Niger Delta region want to use this opportunity to address the new MD/CEO of the commission, Mr Samuel Ogbuku, in order to express our sincere concerns about the way the commission has been run in the past, whereby decisions are often made from the comfort of the office, without any real understanding of what is happening on the ground. 

“Therefore, we want you to be on the field to see what projects and programmes are ongoing because this is time for lasting change in the region”, he said.