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Inaugurate NDDC and douse tension in Niger Delta, youths tell Buhari

By Kelvin Ebiri
01 December 2019   |   4:02 am
President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to inaugurate the board for Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and douse the prevailing disenchantment amongst stakeholders.

President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to inaugurate the board for Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and douse the prevailing disenchantment amongst stakeholders. A group, Concerned Youth Leaders of Niger Delta, who made this entreaty, said it was deeply worried by the controversies characterising NDDC’s activities in recent times. 

In a joint statement endorsed by Razak W. Amatoru, Omoro Ogei, Darius D. Eyo and Graham Abulu, the group expressed optimism that inauguration of the board, which had been confirmed by the Senate, would pave way for the Commission to function properly and effectively.

The group said it was saddening that the NDDC, which was established as an interventionist agency, primarily founded to aggressively address developmental needs of the oil producing states has been bedeviled by unwarranted crisis.

It noted that though, so far, the NDDC has not performed to the expectations of people of the oil producing states, particularly in the Niger Delta, they cannot afford further controversies that would hamper the smooth functioning of the Commission. 

The youths said while they support the thorough audit of the Commission, particularly by a reputable international audit firm to get rid of the rots, they insisted they are not interested in any illegal contraption called caretaker or interim management committee arrangements, which do not bode well for the overall interest of the Commission and the people of Niger Delta region.  

“We would like to use this medium to strongly and dispassionately appeal to the Ministry of Niger Delta and its leadership to listen to the people of Niger Delta and desist from anything that is capable of undermining the smooth takeoff and running of the new board,” they said.

They commended the Senate for its insistence that the budget of the Commission must be defended by the newly confirmed board. The Senate leadership’s stance of boldly standing on the side of the law, they said, would be remembered by the people of the Niger Delta.

“Accordingly, we respectfully urge the National Assembly to further engage the Presidency to ensure swift inauguration of the new Board of NDDC. It is self-evident that the recent crisis in the Commission has taken us backward, in terms of development. We don’t have time and resources to waste on personal selfish interests anymore. Let all genuine stakeholders treat the development of our region far above personal interests,” they said.