By Bernard Tolani Dada Uyo
Worried by the spate of attacks leading to the abandonment of several projects of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) committed to good governance in the region has warned restive youths against vandalizing NDDC projects in the region.
Speaking at a press conference in Uyo, the State capital, the group advised youths to “allow genuine development to penetrate the State and the region by burying your confrontational tendencies and embrace development”.
The President of the NAPPDRR President, Hon. Al Mustapher Emem Edoho, lamented that the region has over the years been devastated by environmental and other ecological challenges including oil spill and urged the aggrieved youths to “give the current NDDC Board a chance to fix some of the problems”.
“The current NDDC Board led by the MD Obong Nsima Ekere has shown enough commitment and determination to reduce tensions in the region by tackling empowerment programmes, roads rehabilitation, job creation and environmental issues in the last eight months of assuming office. We must give him a chance to bring lasting peace to our long-suffering communities”, Edoho said.
In the same vein, the Secretary of the group, Comrade Jubril Uwem Edukere, commended the board under Ekere, for his resolve to complete all abandoned projects in the nine Niger Delta States and solicited the cooperation of the youthts to embrace peace.
“The region can only develop when youths shun violence and allow the NDDC contractors, who have been mobilized to sites in order to complete the abandoned projects to do their work with any let or hindrance”, Edukere advised.
He urged the youths to support the NDDC’s quest to develop the region through people-oriented programmes that would impact on the lives of citizens and residents of the region, adding that “development can only thrive under an atmosphere of peace”.
Commending Ekere for his determination to confront the development challenges of the region with vigour, Edukere noted that “such aggressive development drive will recommend Ekere to other higher responsibilities in the State and Nigeria” and urged the youths to bury every sentiment and embrace peace for development in region.
“At this time, the country needs pragmatic and committed leaders to drive socio-economic and political development of the Country, and so far, Ekere has shown such character that must be embraced by those who are desirous of genuine development”, Edukere said.
He charged community leaders to advise their subjects against using violence to block development programmes of NDDC in their areas.
“Violence is counter-productive to development in the region. So, you must discipline yourself and hold your peace because the contractors can only deliver quality jobs when the right environment is allowed for such development programmes to thrive”, he stressed.