Pauline Onyibe, Yenagoa
Ijaw Youths from the nine states of the Niger Delta region, under the umbrella of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), on Monday said they were now supporting the appointment of Akwa Effiong as the Sole Administrator of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The IYC therefore said it was putting on hold it’s planned massive protest to shut down the headquarters of the Commission.
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 thought 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, in a statement in Yenagoa, noted 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.
“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.
“We call on the Sole Administrator to work for the interest of the region within this timeline especially; initiating policies and programmes that will build the capacities of youths in areas of skills and acquisition/empowerment. And payment of tuition fees to beneficiaries of the NDDC foreign scholarship scheme.”