Angry youths drawn from the nine Niger Delta states under the aegis of the Consolidated Youths of Niger Delta (CYND) have warned the Niger Delta ex agitators to withdraw the seven-day ultimatum given to the new board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), over non payment for the water hyacinth jobs awarded to them.
Under the auspices of the 21st Century Youths of Niger Delta and Agitators with Conscience, the ex-militants led by their leader, General Izon Ebi, had threatened to shut down the NDDC offices within seven day, if the Prof. Nelson Brambaifa –led board fails to pay after executing the contract
“The NDDC board should do the needful and commence payment for the jobs immediately to stem youths’ restiveness that may lead to bloodshed, loss of lives and destruction of properties in the region”, Izon warned.
But the CYND group led by its National Coordinator, Comrade Frank Naday, expressed dismay at the action, noting that “this is not the time for the region to be drawn into another round of conflagration as the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari strives to douse tension through systematic empowerment of the youths through the NDDC”.
In a statement made available to Newsmen in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital at the weekend, the youths recalled that “since the emergence of this current Prof. Brambaifa-led NDDC board, over 5,000 youths have benefitted from the water hyacinth jobs and other empowerment schemes”.
He warned that they will respond appropriately if the ex-militants ignore the voices of reason and carry out their threats to disrupt the agency’s activities.
“We are aware that the Acting Managing Director (MD) of the Commission, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa, and his team are working so very hard to make more payments to those who are yet to receive their water hyacinth jobs and other empowerment programmes”, Naday added.
He urged the former agitators to reciprocate the Federal Government’s gesture by maintaining peace in the region as President Buhari has shown more commitment to address the challenges of development that has been plaguing the region in time past.
Besides, the group appealed to President Buhari to confirm Brambaifa as the substantive Managing Director of the Commission, saying such “gesture would further strengthen his position to administer the NDDC without fear or favour”.
“Aside Mr. Timi Alaibe, who acted briefly on that post, Bayelsa state as one of the leading crude producer in Nigeria has never produced the a substantive Managing Director of the Commission for four years, so now is the time for Bayelsa to take its full turn and Prof. Brambaifa, has all the qualities to occupy the position in the interest of peace, stability and development of the region”.
“This is the first time somebody who has no political ambition would be appointed into the board of the Commission and that is why politicians are not comfortable with him. He has done his best within this short period and should be confirmed so he can run the Commission effectively for the good of all Niger Deltans.
“Development can only thrive in an atmosphere of peace; therefore, we should not allow politicians to use us as cannon-fodder to set our region and our natural resources ablaze. Niger Delta is our home, if we destroy it we will have no other place to go”, the youths stressed.
According to them, “President Muhammadu Buhari means well for the region with the appointments of great sons of Niger Delta including former Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Senator Godswill Akpabio, as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs; Festus Keyamo, Minister of State; Senator Ita Enang, as the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Niger Delta Affairs and former Bayelsa governor Timiprieye Silva, Minister of State for Petroleum, and others”
They therefore, urged the former freedom fighters to sheathe their swords and works with the new appointees to ensure the region get the best in terms of socio-economic development of the area and its people.
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