Aggrieved members of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) planning a protest tagged ‘Mother of All Protest’ against the appointment of Mr Effiong Akwa as the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) have decided to apply the brakes by putting the protest on hold.
The Spokesman of IYC, Ebilade Erekefe who announced the decision of the aggrieved youths to stay action on the protest however warned that the IYC would not accept the elongation of the tenure of Akwa as sole administrator beyond April when a substantive board would be inaugurated as stated by the Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio.
Erekefe in a press conference addressed in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital on Sunday said the IYC would be monitoring developments due to the many unfulfilled promises of the Federal Government.
“Therefore, having consulted with critical stakeholders and leaders of thoughts within the region, critical organs of Council, we therefore resolved to put on hold the planned “Mother of All Protest” at the Headquarters of NDDC in Port-Harcourt, to allow the Sole Administrator superintend over the conclusion of the forensic audit as alluded by the Honorable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
“We urge the external forensic auditors to hasten up their assignment and conclude within the stipulated April timeline as Ijaw youths will not tolerate excuses anymore for negligence as our plans to carrying out a mother protest is still on course if the substantive board is not inaugurated by April, ”he said
On the appointment of Mr Udengs Eradiri as Special Adviser on Youth to Akwa, Ekerefe while noting it is a positive development added that “it should not be taken as a means to silence the Ijaw Youths agitating for a substantive board for the NDDC.”
He also set an agenda for Akwa tasking him to work for the interest and development of the people of the Niger Delta region by initiating policies and programs that will build the capacities of youths in areas of skills and acquisition/empowerment and payment of tuition fees to beneficiaries of the NDDC foreign scholarship scheme.
Similarly Ekerefe called for the payment of indigenous contractors whose monies are still tied down in the commission despite the completion of such projects stressing that the IYC would closely monitor the implementation of the NDDC budget in the interest of the people of the region.