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NDDC board: Itsekiri suspends ultimatum to FG

By Elo Edremoda, Warri

Following consultations by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, with stakeholders of the Niger Delta region for the immediate constitution of a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Itsekiri Liberation Group (ILB) has suspended its 14-day ultimatum issued to the Federal Government.

The ILG had on Saturday, May 29, threatened to disrupt economic activities in the area if after 14 days, the Federal Government failed to inaugurate the NDDC board.

In a statement signed by its chairman, Mone Oris, the group said it relaxed the ultimatum after wide consultations with the Regent of Warri Kingdom, Prince Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh, the leadership of the Itsekiri National Youth Council (INYC) and an ex-militant leader, General Smart Omola (alias Gentle Lion).

The statement which called for calm across the Itsekiri nation and Niger Delta at large, said that the decision was reached after being briefed of the outcome of the consultative meeting of the Minister, with the Olu-designate, Prince Utieyinoritsetsola Emiko and other Itsekiri leaders.

The statement reads in part: “Notwithstanding the suspension of the ultimatum, the leadership still stands on their demands that the NDDC board should be constituted almost immediately by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs,

“That an Itsekiri man should be made the Managing Director or Chairman of the board that is to be constituted.

“That all ongoing projects in Itsekiri area be adequately  funded for speedy completion and new projects awarded in Itsekiri areas because we produce the highest quantum of oil and gas in Delta and Edo states.

“That Itsekiri should be accommodated in the recently employed staff of the commission and skill acquisition and other empowerment programmes of the commission.”

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