Wearied of the endless wait for the inauguration of a substantive board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, a Pan-Ijaw group, Movement for the Survival of the Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta, MOSIEND, has begged the region’s warlords to issue a joint seven days’ ultimatum to the federal government
MOSIEND also asked the minister of Niger Delta, Sen. Godswill Akpabio to resign without further delay, for alleged underperformance, which they said include but not limited to highhandedness, misappropriation of funds, lack of transparency and treacherous style of managing the ministry and NDDC for over two years.
Alleging that Akpabio’s tenure as minister of Niger Delta was the worst when compared with his predecessors, the Niger Delta group called on Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo who is predominantly referred to by his sobriquet Tompolo, King Ateke Tom and Chief Victor Ben to express their dismay on the hardship the delay in the constitution of the board is inflicting on the masses through the ultimatum.
National President of MOSIEND, Kennedy Tonjo-West who expressed disappointment over the delay in constituting the new board wondered why for more than two years now, the NDDC has been running without a substantive board, even after the long awaited report have been submitted.
Tonjo-West, while stressing the need for the composition of a legally authorized team to run the NDDC, urged the Niger Delta warlords to compel the federal government and Akpabio to respect the Act establishing the commission by inaugurating a new board.
According to him, “MOSIEND dares Tompolo, King Ateke Tom and Chief Victor Ben to give a joint seven days’ ultimatum to the Federal Government or Senator Godswill Akpabio concerning the composition of the NDDC Board if they’re truly worried about the hardship the delay in the constitution of the board is inflicting on the masses.
“Their strange quietness is generating disqueitness amongst groups who recognized their contributions in the struggle hitherto. Ordinarily, the recent hobnobbing between the former warlords and the minister of Niger Delta, Sen. Godswill Akpabio summing from his visit to Okochiri and subsequently Oporoza should yield tangible results other than getting this suddenly dumb and sleepy over matters that should agitate and aggravate their concern over the true and genuine welfare of their people.
“Of a truth, recent happenings show that ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta lack the energy and synergy to collectively bargain a better deal for ourselves as a region. President Muhammadu Buhari should not be blamed for Akpabio’s selfishness and the docility and I- don’t- care- attitude of our political leaders and stakeholders.”
He warned that “any attempt to scrap NDDC will face a stiff resistance. Akpabio is just flying a kite, it is an exercise in futility. The region has not seen any tangible infrastructure or sustainable policy framework that is targeted at promoting soci0-economic sustainability and infrastructural development.
“From 2019 till date the NDDC has received well over 799 billion, from 2019 budget to 2020 budget, yet, the region still suffers gross underdevelopment with nothing to show forth.
“This is the first time that the presidency is giving full powers to the ministry to supervise the NDDC, recall President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 formally transmitted a letter to the minister of Niger Delta, giving him the full power to supervise the commission, a move that is targeted at accelerating development and democratic dividend if Sen. Akpabio were a sincere fellow.
“Akpabio’s reckless abandonment of the region for his selfish and personal gain can no longer be tolerated, hence, MOSIEND is liaising with other sister organisations who shares the same opinion and are tired of the impunity of the minister to continue to siphon the ministry and the region with every means necessary at its beck and call.”
Tonjo-West added that “MOSIEND is going to engage all known forms of civil disobedience to compel Sen. Akpabio to resign. As it is now, the most important move to salvage the Niger Delta is to ensure that Akpabio resigns without being butted out of office for his own good.”