NDDC board: Tompolo, Akpabio agreement commendable – IYC


By Simon Utebor, Yenagoa

The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide has described as “commendable” the agreement reached in Oporoza in Delta State during a meeting between Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akapabio, and stakeholders including Chief Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo, for a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The IYC said the agreement was in conformity with the earlier one secured by the Ijaw youths from Akpabio after series of agitations and meetings in Abuja.

In a statement on Sunday by the National Spokesman for IYC, Ebilade Ekerefe, the council commended the foremost ex-militants’ leader, Tompolo, the President of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), Prof. Benjamin Okaba, and other stakeholders at the meeting in Oporoza for pushing further the agitations by the IYC and halting the threats to the peace of the region.

Ekerefe noted that though many felt that the shouts and cry by the Ijaw youths were misplaced and distractive, many people had come to see that Ijaw youths had a foresight.

He said the IYC was bold to have earlier detected the need to agitate and engage Akpabio and the Federal Government on the issues of the tenure of the sole administrator, the forensic audit report and the constitution of a substantive board.

Ekerefe said: “Through a systematic approach and media engagement, the issue has finally secured a firm resolve by the Federal Government to finish the forensic audit and set up a board for the NDDC before the end of June, this month.

Read Also: NDDC board: Tompolo withdraws ultimatum to FG, sues for calm

“The substantive board, if set up, should also have a clear representation for the youths of the region for pragmatic engagement and sense of belonging. This has become necessary as previous boards had only represented the interest of a few persons and not the interest of the youths and the development of the region.”

Ekerefe noted that the IYC would not play to the gallery by allowing its revered institution to be used to promote someone else’s political agenda, but would be guided to insist that youths of the region should be given a proper place in the affairs of the region.

He noted that it was unnecessary and completely out of place for a certain Chief in Oporoza to insinuate that the minister took the leaders of the Council to Abuja to be compromised.

He said: “We frown on that statement as we consider it too spurious an intended to blackmail a leadership who only gave the minister an audience to explain what had delayed the constitution of the NDDC board just like he come to Oporoza to explain.

“We reiterate that despite the mismanagement of the IYC protest after the expiration of the 30 days ultimatum, the leadership should be commended for the efforts put in place before the eventual Oporoza meeting rather than being vilified.”

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