Ibibio youths fault protest against Akwa’s appointment as NDDC sole administrator
The Ibibio Youth Council (IYC), yesterday, faulted protests against the recent appointment of Effiong Okon Akwa as Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
It argued that such protests were counter-productive and inimical to government’s programmes, development objectives and efforts to reposition the commission.
The group maintained that Akwa’s appointment should be considered a welcome development rather than a call for crisis, as the NDDC could not exist without a management, even if in an interim basis.
In a statement issued by Comrade Imoh Steven Okoko, it urged the youths and other stakeholders opposed to Akwa’s appointment to sheathe their swords and embrace peace.
IYC’s advice followed recent protests by Ijaw youths on the Yenagoa-Mbiama axis of the East-West road, which reportedly led to gridlock that left many commuters stranded.
Condemning the call for Akwa’s removal, IYC argued: “As Ibibio youths, we declare that the call for the reconstitution of a substantive board for the NDDC is a welcome development, but we detest its degeneration into protests, which could eventually lead to destruction of lives and property.
“While we are not disputing the fact that successive leaderships of the commission have failed to fulfill the mandate for which the NDDC was established, we strongly believe that, if properly conducted, the forensic audit will help to reposition the interventionist agency to effectively carry out its mandate.
“But in the meantime, the commission needs the support of all Niger Delta people to succeed, rather than engage in destructive criticisms and actions.”
The group stressed that from its investigations and assessment, Akwa possessed the academic, professional, administrative and managerial expertise, experience and pedigree to run the NDDC in the interim, until the presidency named a substantive board and management.
“The clamour for Akwa’s removal is not that he is not fit for the position, but because he is an Akwa Ibom State indigene. Ijaw youths’ protest against appointees from Akwa Ibom State since the establishment of the commission has become a recurring decimal,” the statement added.
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