Posted by News Express | 25 August 2021 | 373 times
Youths from the nine states under the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) yesterday barricaded the headquarters of the commission in Port Harcourt, calling on the federal government to constitute a substantive board for the commission.
The youths, under the aegis of the South-South Youths Initiative (SSYI) alleged that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, was working against the development of the region.
National Coordinator of SSYI, Imeabe Oscar, who spoke during the protest stated that the delay in the constitution of a board for the commission was not in the interest of the region, lamenting that the minister is slowing down development and activities in the region.
Oscar said, “All we are asking is that the NDDC under Godswill Akpabio should immediately constitute a substantive board for the NDDC.
“He told us that the board would be constituted on July 30, we have been waiting up to this moment. Instead of constituting the board what we are still having is a Sole Administrator.
“It is unfortunate that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Akpabio has chosen to play games with the people of Niger Delta. We thought that as a son of Niger Delta that he would work to ensure a board for the commission to ensure development and employment.”
He regretted that the federal government gave attention to the demands of the region only when it sparked protest, saying the protest would remain until their request is met.
He said, “It is clear we don’t have a responsible government, if we do we will not be protesting under the sun for the right thing to be done. What are we asking for, constitute a board. Because of his selfish interest he has decided to keep the region the way we are now.
“He (Akpabio) has slowed down the development and activities of the Niger Delta people. He wants us to shut down the office totally before he will come and do the right thing. This is just the day one of this protest, we will continue it, because he has failed to listen to the Niger Delta People.
“NDDC has employed 1000 persons illegally and all the persons he has employed are from Akwa Ibom. He also appointed Effiong Akwa from his state too. We have nine states under the commission, but Akpabio has converted the commission to this personal property.
“If he has ambition for 2023, let him do it justly and we will support him. If he wants to bring down this region we will not support that. We want him with immediate effect constitute the board. We are coming out in full force to ensure that his demand is done.”
(Courtesy THISDAY: Excluding headline)
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