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FG gets deadline to inaugurate NDDC board as IYC threatens lockdown

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The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) and ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta have given the Federal Government one-month ultimatum to inaugurate a substantive board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) or risk total shut down of the region.

National President of the Ijaw Youths Council Worldwide, Timothy Igbifa, who stated this in an interview in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, said if the group did not get a positive response from the Federal Government, it would shut down oil production and the entire region.

Igbifa, who presided over an expanded meeting of stakeholders and leaders of ethnic nationalities in Port Harcourt, Rivers State at the weekend, stressed the need to constitute a substantive board of the NDDC, among five other demands.

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He attributed the increasing cases of armed attacks and killings in some parts of the country to Federal Government’s refusal to do the needful by addressing the causes of agitations of needs of the regions.

The IYC President, who was a guest at the 34th birthday celebration of the National Spokesman of IYC, Ebilade Ekerefe in Yenagoa, charged President Muhammadu Buhari to address those agitations of the troubled region.

“To resolve rising insecurity in parts of the country, Mr. President should not allow the regions to agitate for everything they ought to have. The president should do the needful in the NDDC, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) and other federal sector in the region.

“President Buhari should be proactive and timely to avoid crisis and sundry issues. The Niger Delta region is safe and we are hopeful that if the President sustains the tempo by doing the right thing in the region, things will continue to be much better,” he said.

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On the ultimatum, he said, “In its executive and stakeholders meeting in Port Harcourt yesterday, the IYC gave the Federal Government and President Buhari one month notice.

“It is expected that Mr. President will do the needful within one month and inaugurate the NDDC board and let us see how the commission will not function properly anymore.

“If there is no positive response, we shall take action. We will shut down the entire region if there is no action from Mr. President within the time frame we have given him. There will be no compromises.”

Responding to the IYC ultimatum, Special Assistant on Youth Matters to the Interim Administrator of NDDC, Udengs Eradiri, sued for calm.
Eradiri, who is the immediate past President of the IYC, pleaded with the group to exercise restraint and allow President Buhari, Godswill Akpabio and the Interim Sole Administration of the NDDC, Effiong Akwa to resolve the challenges of the commission.

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