NDDC Board: FG Gets 21-day Ultimatum As Delta Youths Protest Over Sole Administrator

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President Muhammadu Buhari
  • Blame Akpabio, Say Akwa Was An Insider During the alleged Cases of  Multi-billion-naira fraud…
  • Threaten To Take Protest To  Abuja…

From Ameachi Prosper (The New Diplomat’s Delta State Correspondent)

Over one thousand youths on Thursday shutdown the Agbarho section of the busy East-West road in Delta State calling for the sack of the  appointed  sole administrator for the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), Mr Effiong Okon Akwa by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The youths also issued a 21-day ultimatum to the President to appoint a substantive board for the NDDC as stipulated by the act establishing it. The youths allege that there was no basis both in law and logic to justify the  appointment of Akwa, who was an aide to Mr Dan Abia(former MD of NDDC) as Sole Administrator of the NDDC, when the period to be audited by the ordered forensic covers Abia’s era. According to the youths, this is an evident and manifest case of conflict of interest.

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An insider alleged: ” Anybody can go to court tomorrow and quash that so-called audit on justifiable grounds of conflict of interest as Akwa was in the NDDC as special Assistant to Dan Abia when the later was MD, as the soc-called audit ought to cover Dan Abia’s and Akwa’s time at the Commission as well.”

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The youths under the auspices of Urhobo Youths Leaders Council, UYLC, staged a peaceful protest as they chanted solidarity songs to press home their demands.

With various placards carrying inscriptions such as, “President Buhari obey the NDDC Act by appointing a substantive board, Urhobo youths are angry, Urhobo youths are in support of the forensic audit but appoint a board for the Commission, President Buhari enough of politics in Villa over NDDC and put in place substantive Board and, Our roads are bad. We need a substantive board in NDDC.”

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Speaking to newsmen, Coordinator of Urhobo Youths Leaders’ Council, UYLC, Comrade Lucky Emonefe, said the Urhobo youths are in support of the forensic audit ordered by President Buhari stressing that, “Those who are corrupt should face the consequences of their actions.”

The youth leaders also called on President Buhari to obey the law especially Section 2 establishing the NDDC by inaugurating a substantive board.

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Emonefe also rejected the politics allegedly being played with the future of the NDDC and the entire people of the Niger Delta.

“There are some group of persons playing politics in the Villa over the NDDC matter. They want to personally acquire the NDDC as their personal properties. This is a board that’s made up of persons from different States. What we can have is just a sole administrator.

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“We as youths of Niger Delta, we reject the sole administrator appointed by Mr President. We want Mr President to obey section 2 of the NDDC Act by inaugurating the Board.

“We are not interested in who is on the Board. That’s not our business. But what we want is that Delta State representative, Ondo State representative, Bayelsa State representative should be there. Not that only one man in Akwa-Ibom should oversee the affairs of the Niger Delta.

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“Our governors have spoken. Our traditional rulers have spoken. Our mothers and fathers have spoken but nobody listened. We the youths of the Niger Delta, we are here to tell Mr President that this our coming out massively is a warning to the President. It is a warning to the Federal Government. Our next coming out will be in the Villa.

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“We are giving Akpabio and the Federal Government 21 days ultimatum, if they refuse to obey us, we are going to the Villa. We are going to stay in Abuja without going back.”

Comrade Emonefe also expressed disappointment in political leaders from the Niger Delta, saying they have watched for too long as Akpabio continues to derail the NDDC.

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“They’re all sleeping without doing anything. We have the likes of Amaechi, we have the likes of Keyamo and the minister of petroleum resources, they cannot say anything. Only one man, Godswill Akpabio pocketed them.

“It is an aberration. It is an insult to the sensibility of the Niger Delta people. It is an insult to the sensibility of the Urhobo People. We are going to resist it in any form.”

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Comrade Emonefe warned that the peaceful protest is a warning just as he threatened that the youths will shutdown all Assets belonging to the Federal Government in their next outing.

He enjoined President Buhari to have a rethink and obey the voices of the people which they say is the Voice of God.

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In his words, “It is often said that when the oppression of the oppressed increases in geometric progression, revolution becomes inevitable.”

While noting that the Urhobo people have been patient enough, Comrade Emonefe said the youths came out to demonstrate their peaceful nature. He, however, warned that their peaceful dispositions should not be taken for granted.”

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