Posted by News Express | 15 April 2020 | 703 times
Some youths in the Niger Delta have condemned what they called attempts to disparage the person of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, stating that he is still the right man for the job.
They also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the “accelerated development” being witnessed in the region under his watch through the synergy between the Ministry of Niger Delta affairs and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
In a statement signed by Comrade Terry Obieh of the Urhobo Youth Council and leaders of 16 other ethnic nationality youth councils in the region and made available to newsmen, the youths disclosed that since the inception of the All Progressive Congress (APC) administration in 2015, the region has been given a pride of place in the development priorities of the nation particularly through the constitution of a new management team in the NDDC and the superlative leadership of both agencies under Akpabio, the Presidential directive for a forensic audit and called on the people of the region to unite and support the efforts to change the narrative.
The statement reads: “This joint statement was necessitated and has become necessary to address some of the issues and ugly happenings in the Niger/Delta region.
“Yes, successive governments had tried and made efforts to proffer solutions to our challenges, particularly, the oil and gas producing communities in our region. The many years of cry and agitations by the people of Niger Delta, eventually, gave birth to NDDC, Ministry of Niger Delta affairs.
“These are interventionist agencies established by previous governments to provide human and infrastructural development in the region. These agencies, for some reasons have failed and not been able to provide the desired human and infrastructural development in the region, despite huge resources annually allocated and released by successive federal governments to the agencies since inception.
“As responsible and patriotic indigenes of Niger Delta region, we all have accepted the clear fact that the Niger NDDC and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs have not made any meaningful impacts in the lives of the people and communities in the region.
“But from 2015, when President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office, the two interventionist agencies, the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC, and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, also the Presidential Amnesty Programme have been given adequate attention and President Muhammadu Buhari has ensured prompt release of monies to enable the agencies perform as expected.
“Evidently, the best gifts ever which President Buhari has given to the people of Niger Delta was the appointment of Senator Akpabio as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs in 2019 and the President’s directive for a forensic audit of NDDC’s record from 2001.
“While we thank President Buhari for putting an effective structure to manage the affairs of the Niger Delta Ministry, under the leadership of Senator Akpabio, who is also the supervising Minister on NDDC, we also consider it necessary to call on all Niger Deltans to work in synergy toward the actualization of President Buhari’s positive agenda for the region.
“We envisage and actually hope for a situation where all Niger Delta leaders, particularly the leaders of the All Progressives Congress APC and appointees of President Muhammadu Buhari from Niger Delta region coming together to champion the rebirth and transformation of the oil rich region.
“Unfortunately, we regret the actions by some leaders in Niger Delta, who have decided to engage in campaign of calumny against Senator Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and the interim Management Committee of Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC.
“The attacks on Senator Akpabio is unnecessary. The President has the constitutional right to hire and fire any of his appointees, whenever deemed necessary and the sack and appointment of a new Acting Managing Director and other members of Interim Management Committee should not cause any disunity among leaders in the Niger Delta region.
“Our sons and daughters from Niger Delta region that have served or still serving in the NDDC different capacities should be reminded that NDDC was never and will not be their birth right, neither is it a kingship or family inheritance, as nobody will occupy public office forever.
“Also, we implore all our Niger Delta leaders serving at the federal government and President Buhari’s administration to put away their differences, grievances and unite to collectively bring development to the region.
“We believe that the forensic audit was for the best interests of the region, our people and communities. Let us support to ensure the success of the forensic audit. All President Buhari’s appointees from the region should not fight themselves or encroach on each other’s assignments.
“Therefore, those persons from Niger Delta who wants to set the region on fire by spreading rumours and lies against Senator Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, and the Interim Committee of NDDC must desist.
“We appreciate NDDC’s timely intervention to release relief materials to the people of Niger Delta as palliatives over the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Finally, we pass a vote of confidence on President Buhari, Senator Akpabio, and the interim Management Committee of the NDDC,” the youth leaders said.
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