From: Joe Effiong, Uyo
Several groups in the Niger Delta have continued to condemn the recent protest by a section of Ijaw youths against the appointment of Mr Effiong Akwa as the sole administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Two of such groups, the Niger Delta Conscience Coalition (NDCC) and Oro Progressives Movement (OPM) addressed the press separately in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, to admonish Ijaw youths against intimidating federal appointees from Akwa Ibom State into any of the agencies in the region.
The NDCC specifically warned that no harm should come to the Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Godswill Akpabio, and the recently appointed interim administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC), Mr Effiong Akwa.
The president of the group, Mr Aniefiok Obot, said the antagonism expressed by Ijaw youths against the Akwa’s appointment was ‘uncalled for, sectional, divisive and unacceptable,’ as such would not fold their arms and watch certain groups, sections and communities in other Niger Delta states ‘harass’ Akpabio and Akwa and other appointees from Akwa Ibom.
The NDCC maintained that no state in the Niger Delta was more important or Niger Delta than other states, adding that Akwa Ibom has an equal stake with the Ijaws.
‘Therefore, this group takes exception at the attitude of entitlement displayed by certain groups, sections, communities against and towards our appointed representatives in the running of the affairs of the Niger Delta whether it is at the centre or at the regional level of the Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC).
‘There has lately been an inundation of the political space from Abuja to Port Harcourt with spates of protest from the youths of Ijaw extraction of the Niger Delta against the office and person of the interim administrator of the NDDC and Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs Ministry.
‘The voiceless and faceless orchestrators of anarchy towards the Federal Minister (Akpabio) and the Interim Management of the NDDC should either desist or think twice because sometimes the lion that would consume the deer may not even be the one that roared.’
Similarly, the OPM, adopting a more moderate tone, said the appointment of Effiong Akwa as NDDC interim administrator ‘is lawful based on Abuja federal high court judgement that specifically declared that the most senior civil servant/ administrator should take over the administration of the NDDC after restraining the former IMC led by Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei.
‘We urge our fellow brothers in the region to forthwith desist from unwarranted attacks on the person/office of Mr President and commander in chief, the honourable minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio and the interim administrator,’ OPM said through their national president, Ken Effiong Bassey.
They stressed that Oron resource endowment and contribution to the nation should not be ignored as the region accounts for not less than 80% of the derivable oil revenue of Akwa Ibom State as a major oil-producing state in Nigeria.
OPM insisted that all verified ongoing project within the region of Niger Delta should be strictly monitored and consultants/contractors powered to move to their respective sisters forthwith.