BY EMEKA EJERE
A group known as Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative (LPCDI) has called on the leadership of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), and other groups involved in the series of attacks to give the new administrator of NDDC a chance to prove his capacity over the affairs of the commission.
This comes against the backdrop of series of protest against the appointment of an interim administrator for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC),
The IYC, the Anioma Youth Forum Worldwide (AYFW), and many others have kicked against the appointment of Mr. Okon Akwa by President Mohammadu Buhari as the interim administrator of the NDDC.
But the LPCDI, through its President, Comrade Clifford Wilson, called on the agitating youths against the choice of President Muhammadu Buhari, insisting that the new administrator has a listening ear and should be given a chance to steer the affairs of the commission and clear the messes on the ground before a substantive board can be appointed.
The LPCDI, which was made up of Phase One Ex-militant leaders, again expressed their appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari over Mr. Okon Akwa’s appointment, and pledged total support for his administration.
Meanwhile, the new Interim administrator of the NDDC says the commission would redeem its image and foster more collaboration with state governments in the Niger Delta region.
He made the declaration at the fourth meeting of the National Council on Niger Delta at the Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt.
Akwa stated that NDDC would do its best to strengthen the relationship between the commission and the governments of the Niger Delta, to make them partners and not competitors.
The new NDDC boss underlined the need for collaboration with critical stakeholders to drive the process of development in the Niger Delta region.
He said: “The Niger Delta Development is ready, we have come up with a theme: ‘Redeeming the image of NDDC that will drive the commission. Gone are the days when you hear of supply of desks and chairs, we will engage the governors, the royal fathers and other stakeholders of the region, so that we harmonize the needs assessment and set our priorities right and also get them tackled. There should not be any competition, we will work together as a team and the tax payer’s money would not be wasted.
“We are lucky that we have an uncommon minister that is ready and passionate for development. Luckily for us we have President Muhammadu Buhari that has a deep seated love for the people of Niger Delta region. It was for this reason that despite the political opposition that we have, President Buhari is still committed to the development of the Niger Delta region.
“Whatever we are going to do, will be a product of structured planning that will put all the energies of the Niger Delta states together. The Niger Delta states will be integrated, such that in the next few years, Niger Delta region will be a force to reckon with. It will be a region that investors would run to.
“I want to plead that the peace that is currently reigning in the Niger Delta should be maintained because there is no meaningful development that can take place without peace. We have the best behaved youths with what we see around. We have a good level of corporation from our royal fathers as they also give the youths a good sense of direction, hence with all these efforts, the Niger Delta region is poised for the best.”