By Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The umbrella body of Ijaw youths, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide has declared that the Interim Management Committee (IMC) has outlived its usefulness and does not have anything new to add to the development of the Niger Delta region.
Consequently it is calling for its sack and the inauguration of a substantive management board of the commission in the interest of the people of the region.
The President of the IYC, Peter Timothy Igbifa in a statement stated that the lacklustre and uninspiring performance of the IMC is so glaring for the people to see.
According to him the initial fears expressed by the people over the ability of the IMC to deliver on the mandate of the commission has been confirmed with the huge disconnect between the people, their developmental needs and what the present IMC is doing in the Commission.
He said the argument that the IMC would oversee the forensic audit of the commission does not hold water as past instances have revealed that the substantive board can exist while the audit is on-going.
Igbifa expressed disappointment while the Nigerian government enjoys uninterrupted flow of petro – dollar from the ancestral lands of the people of the region, the Niger Delta people are living in hopelessness, want, squalor and misery.
The statement read in part “The Council is no longer comfortable with the present Interim agreement in the Commission and demands for the Inauguration of a substantive Board. Failure which, the Council would have no choice than to Occupy the NDDC. Inaugurating a substantive Board would not stop the forensic auditors or consultants from carrying out their job. If the intention of the forensic audit is for the benefit of the region and not for some self serving purposes, then the people of the region are requesting that the inauguration of the substantive Board should be done alongside the forensic audit of the Commission.
“The Council will work closely with other leaders from the region to ensure that the substantive Board when inaugurated works to fulfil the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the region”.
The inauguration of a substantive Board in the NDDC is long overdue, and there are people in the region that take delight in ensuring that they perpetuate the era of strife, economic backwardness and injustice in the region. They thrive when there is pain, sorrow, underdevelopment and economic subjugation of the people of the region. For these set of people, the Council is watching them closely and would react in due season.
“Retaining the present leadership in the Commission beyond today, with their glaring incompetence and inefficiency under any guise may trigger an unimaginable reaction from the people of the region, we need a substantive Board and Management that will be accountable to the people of the region.”