From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Youths from the nine states of the Niger Delta region staged a protest over the failure of the Federal Government to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The youths under the aegis of South-South Youths Initiative (SSYI), during the protest at the headquarters of the commission in Port Harcourt, accused the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, of working against the development of the oil region.
National Coordinator of SSYI Imeabe Oscar stated that the delay in the constitution of a board for the commission was not in the interest of the region, stressing that the minister was slowing down development and activities in the region.
‘All we are asking is that the NDDC under Senator Godswill Akpabio, should immediately constitute a substantive board for the NDDC,’ Oscar said.
‘He told us that the board would be constituted on the 30th of July, 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.’
Oscar regretted that FG pays attention to the demands of the region only when it sparks protest, noting that the protest would tarry until their request was met.
‘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 said.
‘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 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 to constitute the board. We are coming out in full force to ensure that his demand is done.’
The post Youths barricade NDDC gate, say Akpabio slowing down region’s development appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.