The 21st century youths of the Niger Delta and Agitators with Conscience who held a protest at the Niger Delta Development Commission’s (NDDC) headquarters, Port Harcourt, and threatened a complete shutdown of activities in the commission following a purported negligence of Niger Delta states has called for peace, urging members in the fight for a better Niger Delta States to adhere to the instructions of the peace loving elders in the region.
Also, the group had earlier expressed dismay over the delay of the senate and the Federal Government to ensure handover to the duly screened members of the governing board of the commission, rather than interim management.
Following a meeting with an elder statesman in the Ijaw Nation, Pa E.K Clark and other critical stakeholders, the leadership of the Niger Delta indigenous group has called on its members to embrace peace even as they express optimism that their plea which is for the benefit of the entire Niger Delta States will be attended to.
According to the leader of the agitators’ forum, Izon Ebi who spoke with TNN in a telephone interview shortly after the meeting noted that since their request was centered on the collective interest of all Niger Delta States devoid of personal aggrandizement, it was necessary to adhere to the instructions of their elders.
Izon said that, “Everything we tabled before the commission was not for our pockets, but for this generation and generations to come. We asked for good, motorable road, employment opportunities for our youth, standard health care facilities, support in education system, security.
“We wept because Rivers State is accommodating the NDDC headquarters, yet lacked motorable roads, especially as it concerns the East-West Nkpolu- road, Oyigbo, Eleme, mention it, I can’t tell the condition of that bridge till now but because we have come to realize that violence most times isn’t the best, we have chosen dialogue, to adhere to our elder’s instructions and support our leaders.
“The 21st century youths of the Niger Delta and Agitators with Conscience commend the sacrifice and desire for peace and harmony in the Niger Delta by pa Clark.
“After series of meetings with Pa Clark and other critical stakeholders, we’ve decided to give peace a chance and join hands with the interim board headed by distinguished personality from the Niger Delta to do a clean and thorough job that will put in place a clean template and standard before the substantive board is inaugurated to drive the vision and developmental agenda of the Niger Delta.”
Izon made a call to the NDDC Executive Director, Project, as well as members of the interim board. “We call on the Executive Director, Projects, Cairo Ojougboh and members of the interim board to work in synergy with the Acting MD, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei to get the desired results of the main objective of their assignment.
He also spoke on their relationship with the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio. He said “we therefore use this medium to put record straight that we don’t have hatred for the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio but we are against some abnormalities that we thought is not good to over look.
“We have so much respect and regard for Akpabio because of his uncommon transformation of Akwa Ibom state.
“We commend him for his courage and determination to replicate it in the entire Niger Delta. Our support for this interim board is born out of our desire to give Peace a chance for the needed Development and not to be seen as agents of politician to pull down our leaders. Our support does not mean that we are going to close our eyes and mouths to watch evil thrive or allow Leaders with Animalistic tendencies and ancients ideology of Master and Slave perpetual servitude to hold us in bandage.
“We therefore call on all Niger Delta Youths and Agitators to join hands with Akpabio to replicate his vision of uncommon transformation of the Niger Delta region and its people.”