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Again, INC kicks over failure to inaugurate NDDC board

By m Ann Godwin (Port Harcourt) and Julius Osahon (Yenagoa)
07 January 2022   |   3:03 am
Apex socio-cultural organisation of the Ijaw, the Ijaw National Congress (INC), has urged the Federal Government to make the inauguration of a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission

NDDC

IYC accuses Wike of making anti-Ijaw remarks, demands apology

Apex socio-cultural organisation of the Ijaw, the Ijaw National Congress (INC), has urged the Federal Government to make the inauguration of a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) a top priority this new year.

The group warned that if the board was not inaugurated immediately, it might be forced to take steps that might not be good for the nation.

Spokesman for the group, Ezonebi Oyakemeagbegha, told The Guardian, yesterday in Port Harcourt, that it was said that four months after the forensic audit report was submitted to the President, there was no word from President Muhammadu Buhari to the people over the inauguration of the board.

He said: “The continuous silence of the President on NDDC board despite public outcry and concerns on the implications of running the commission without a board is very worrisome and highly insensitive.

“This act shows that they are deliberate and do not have the interest of the Niger Delta people at heart. They have been using delay tactics of the forensic audit reports to deceive the people but it won’t work again. This time, if the board is not inaugurated, we will be taking some steps that may not be good for the nation,” he warned.

The INC spokesman further called on the Niger Delta political leaders not to relent in the struggle but to keep supporting the course. He said: “If there is hunger in the land due to insecurity, it is going to affect them. A hungry man is an angry man. Hunger is creating a lot of insecurity in the land and many of our people are hungry and angry.”

MEANWHILE, Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide has flayed remarks allegedly made by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, against the Ijaw nation.

The President of IYC, Peter Timothy Igbifa, in a statement, yesterday, said it was sad that Wike, while presenting his speech during the Ogoni Day celebration, remarked that the Ijaw were behaving as if they owned the Niger Delta.

“We don’t know where he got his impressions from. But whatever he said does not represent our noble ethnic group. Ijaws died in the 2015 elections that saw the emergence of Nyesom Wike as the chief executive officer of Rivers State,” the IYC boss said.

Igbifa wondered what the Ijaw nation had done to Wike to warrant such public outburst against the ethnic group that had supported his administration from inception.

Igbifa recalled that an Ijaw man and former President Goodluck Jonathan; an Ijaw woman and former First Lady, Patience Jonathan, alongside other Ijaw leaders picked Wike and made him the governor of Rivers against all other Ijaw aspirants, including the ones they promised ticket.

He said: “We are disappointed that Wike could stand on a public rostrum and throw tantrums at the Ijaw nation. His remarks were, to say the least, unfortunate.

“The Rivers State governor should have exercised restraints in his public utterances despite his misgivings against the Ijaw as a mark of respect for former President Goodluck Jonathan, his wife, Patience, and other Ijaw leaders, who railroaded him into the governorship seat of Rivers State.

“It was by virtue of these leaders that Wike first became a Minister and then a governor of Rivers State. His comment is an insult against these leaders and an ungrateful demonstration that he didn’t value the roles they played in his life.”

He called on the governor to change his perception about Ijaw people, known for their hospitality.

“The Rivers State governor owes us an apology for his unwarranted and unprovoked attack against the Ijaw nation. His remarks were, to say the least, provocative and insensitive.”