Ijaw Youths from the Nine States of the Niger Delta region have announced the decision to put on hold the planned massive protest and shut down of the headquarters of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
According to the Ijaw Youths, the decision to put on hold the planned protest action was based on consultation with critical stakeholders and leaders of thoughts within the region and critical organs of Council to allow the Sole Administrator superintend over the conclusion of the forensic audit as alluded by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
The Spokesman of the umbrella body of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe while speaking in Yenagoa noted that that despite the pressure and compromising stance of a few, the agitation resulted in breaking the silence of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio on a new timeline for the appointment of a substantive board.
“He said and we quote “a substantive board will be appointed in April, 2021 by which time the forensic auditors have submitted their report to the Federal Government.”.
“What we have gathered from the new timeline is the fact that the Sole Administrator, Mr. Akwa Effiong have a four months tenure to remain in office” .
“Though we have observed that the past promises made by the Federal Government on the issues of NDDC, Amnesty office, the East-West road, and other issues concerning our development, have never been fulfilled.”
“We would be waiting, monitoring and engaging the Federal Government and Minister Godswill Akpabio on these numerous contentious issues.And on the Appointment of Engr. Udengs Eradiri as SA Youth To The Sole Administrator, though positive and for a purpose, it should not be taken as a means to silence the Ijaw Youths agitating for a Substantive Board for the NDDC.”
” While it is unanimously agreed that Engr. Udengs Eradiri has what it takes, both in capacity and in competence to reaching out and pacifying Ijaw youths and youths from other ethnic nationality within the region who are aggrieved over the appointment of Mr. Effiong Akwa as Sole Administrator of the NDDC, our position has not changed.”
” We are irrevocably committed to ensuring that a substantive board for the NDDC with fair representation of the Nine member states of the region making up the Commission is immediately constituted as enshrined in the act.”
” On the issue of protest,Let me reiterate that those against the protest are in variance to the overwhelming majority of Ijaw youths who have concluded plans to embark on a peaceful, but decisive demonstration at the NDDC headquarters to press home the demands of the region.”
” Such conscious mass movements cannot be terminated because of the appointment of Engr. Udengs Eradiri as SA youths to the Sole Administrator. However, as a former president of the Ijaw youth council he will enjoy our support and collaboration in discharging his duties effectively to the admiration of all.”
” Therefore, haven consulted with critical stakeholders and leaders of thoughts within the region, critical organs of Council, we therefore resolved to put on hold the planned “Mother of All Protest” at the Headquarters of NDDC in Port- Harcourt, to allow the Sole Administrator superintend over the conclusion of the forensic audit as alluded by the Honorable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.”
” We urge the external forensic auditors to hasten up their assignment and conclude within the stipulated April timeline as Ijaw youths will not tolerate excuses anymore for negligence as our plans to carrying out a mother protest is still on course if the substantive board is not inaugurated by April.”
” We call on the sole administrator to work for the interest of the region within this timeline especially; Initiating policies and programs that will build the capacities of youths in areas of skills and acquisition / empowerment. Payment of tuition fees to beneficiaries of the NDDC foreign scholarship scheme”.
“Payment of indigenous contractors whose monies are still tied down in the commission despite the completion of such projects.And other priority project that will stimulate the economy of the Niger delta region.Finally, moving forward the IYC inwardly will continue to monitor and ensure that the just approved 2020 budgetary provisions accrued to the NDDC and ensure that what is just is done for the people of the region”.
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