From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) has described as ‘commendable’ the agreement reached in Oporoza, Delta State during a meeting between the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akapabio and stakeholders including High Chief Government Ekpemupolo for a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
According to the IYC, the agreement is in conformity with the earlier one secured by the Ijaw Youth Body from the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio after series of agitation and meeting in Abuja.
The IYC, through its National spokesman, Mr Ebilade Ekerefe, in a statement in Yenagoa commended the fore most leader, Ekepemupolo, the President of the Ijaw National Congress (INC),Prof. Benjamin Okaba and other stakeholders that attended the meeting in Oporoza for pushing further the agitation by the Ijaw youths and halting the threats to the peace of the region.
The statement read in part”Many have come to see that the Ijaw Youths had a foresight and were bold to have earlier detected the need to agitate and engage the Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Godswill Akapabio and the Federal Government on the issues of the tenure of the sole administrator, the forensic audit report and the substantive board’.
“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. 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 have only represented the interest of a few and not the interest of the youths and the development of the region.”
Ekerefe noted that the IYC will not play into the gallery by allowing its revered institution to be used to promote someone else’s political agenda, but will be guided to insisting that the youths of the region should be giving a proper place in the affairs of the region.
He however frowned at insinuations that the leadership of the IYC were invited to Abuja and compromised by Senator Akpabio.
“We frown at that statement as we consider it too spurious an intended to blackmail a leadership who only gave the minister an audience to explain what has delayed the constitution of the NDDC board just like he came 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 been vilified.”