From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Ijaw Interest Advocate (IIA), aka Izanzan Intellectual Camp, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to end the illegality concerning the leadership of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and do the right thing.
The group in a statement by Arerebo Salaco Yerinmene said the NDDC as presently constituted can no longer serve the needs of the people of the Niger Delta people.
According to it, major stakeholders like the governors, traditional rulers and most well-meaning leaders and people of the Niger Delta are supposed to be part of any major policy change in the NDDC have been sidelined by the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio.
He alleged that the Akpabio is indirectly fuelling tension in the Niger Delta region by the way he has handled the affairs of the NDDC.
Yerinmene warned President Buhari not to take the peaceful disposition of the Niger Delta people for granted by refusing to inaugurate the substantive board of the NDDC.
The statement read in part: The gap between the current redundancy of NDDC and lack of trust for the presidency by key stakeholders of the region is creating a big gap between the multi National oil-producing companies and their host communities are alarming.
“Some key stakeholders that have been involved selflessly and silently piloting the affairs of peace in the region are almost giving up gradually on their peaceful roles mainly because of lack of sincerity from the Presidency. No well-meaning Niger Delta person, group, and both traditional and government authority that has not made an input by advising the presidency to ignore Akpabio and do the right thing but all felt to deft ears because of personal interest.
“The multi National companies are now suffering silently; they have been exposed to confront host communities on their own. Nigeria as a major oil-producing nation cannot meet up their OPEC production quota just because some selfish individuals want to line up their pockets with funds meant to sustain peace and development of a sensitive region like the Niger Delta.
“Convincingly, the Niger Delta region still has more than enough resources but almost all the major multinational companies have stopped investing, threatening to pull out as they are already selling off their assets while some are even leaving Nigeria and going to war-torn countries like Libya to invest. What does that portray to the Nigerian government?. It is not only by physically disrupting activities of oil-producing companies that frustrates the companies, once the enabling environment is not conducive they find it difficult to operate but sadly, the same government that is charged with this primary responsibility to provide peace, stability and enabling environment for the multinationals is conniving with Akpabio to fuel up tension in the Niger Delta. It is not only all about sending security forces to forcefully maintain and create peace and stability to create that enabling environment for companies to operate.”