By Elo Edremoda, Warri
The Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has just landed at the Osubi Airstrip in Okpe council area of Delta state.
The Minister’s arrival may not be unconnected to the threat issued by former Niger Delta warlord, Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo, Sunday, regarding the immediate inauguration of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) board.
Photos sighted by The Nation show the Minister with the Deputy Governor of the state, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, the sole administrator of the NDDC, Mr. Akwa Effiong among others at the airport.
The meeting will reportedly hold in Oporoza, the country home of the ex-militant leader, in Warri Southwest LGA of the state.
A senior aide to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Comrade Daniel Ezekiel, disclosed the development to The Nation in Warri.
“Niger Delta Minister is on his way to Oporoza to meet with High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo and other leaders across the Niger Delta.
“Remember a few days ago, he gave an ultimatum. So, regarding that, the Minister and his entourage are on their way to Oporoza to meet with other Niger Delta leaders on how to prevent the region from going into another round of crisis.
“On my own capacity as security aide to the Governor, I have been reaching out to other stakeholders from political to security angles to make sure that the peace in the region is maintained,” Ezekiel said.
Tompolo, in a statement Sunday, warned that the ongoing protests by the IYC and other youth groups would be a child’s play, compared to what will happen in the region should the Federal Government fail to inaugurate a substantive board in seven days.
The warning which has received backing from other groups like the Egbesu Brotherhood has since caused tension in the already volatile region.
Meanwhile, the youth wing of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), on Thursday, shutdown down the Delta State Office of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Edjeba, Warri South council area of Delta State.
The youths who are protesting the continuous failure of the Federal Government to inaugurate the NDDC board vowed that the office will remain shut until their demand is met.
Recall that the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), last week, disrupted operations of the interventionist agency in Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers states over the same issue.
A group, the Itsekiri Liberation Group (ILG) has also threatened to join the protest next week if the government is yet to constitute the board by then.