For refusing to facilitate the inauguration of a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio is soon to attract the wrath of Ijaw youths.
The youths, under the umbrella of Ijaw Youths Council, IYC, had given an ultimatum to the minister to do away with the sole administrator whom he brought, and facilitate the inauguration of a board as provided for by the NDDC Act.
The ultimatum is expected to expire on May 25. The youths have shown renewed willingness to enforce their planned shutdown of all oil installations in the region.
They have already asked all the IOCs and their employees to stay off the region if the federal government refused to heed their demand.
Peter Igbefa, president of the IYC has said repeatedly that he would not be cowed by anybody to drop their plans to destabilize the region.
According to him, it was criminal for the NDDC to be run by a sole administrator, against the provision of the law. He said Akpabio had turned the NDDC to his personal estate under the guise of conducting forensic audit.
Some governors in the Niger Delta have also started agitating for the inauguration of the NDDC board. The Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa recently accused the minister of running the NDDC like a cartel and fooling the Niger Delta people with the claim of forensic audit.
The regime of the sole administrator was expected to end last month. But Akpabio seems to have caused another extension by three months.
The extension has not been announced formally and it was learnt that the decision not to announce was deliberate.
Already, there is panic in the region as fears heighten over a possible shut down of the East West Road from this week by the IYC.