The umbrella body of Ijaw youths worldwide, the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) has described as commendable the agreement reached in Oporoza in Delta State during a meeting between the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio and stakeholders including High Chief Government Ekpemupolo for a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
According to the IYC, the agreement is in conformity with the earlier one secured by the Ijaw youth body from the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, after series of agitation and meeting in Abuja.
The IYC, through its National spokesman, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, in a statement in Yenagoa commended the foremost leader, High Chief Government Ekepemupolo and other stakeholders at the meeting in Oporoza for pushing further the agitation by the Ijaw youths and halting the threats to the peace of the region.
Ekerefe noted that though many felt in December culminating to January this year that the shouts and cry by the Ijaw youths were misplaced and a distraction,”many have come to see that the Ijaw youths had a foresight and was bold to have earlier detected the need to agitate and engage the Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Godswill Akapabio and the federal government on the issues of the tenure of the sole administrator, the forensic audit report and the substantive board.
“Through a systematic approach and media engagement, the issue has finally secured a firm resolve by the federal government to finish the forensic audit and set up a board for the NDDC. The substantive board, if set up, should also have a clear representation for the youths of the region for pragmatic engagement and sense of belonging.”
This has become necessary as previous boards have only represented the interest of a few and not the interest of the youths and the development of the region.
Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe noted that the IYC will not play into the gallery by allowing its revered institution to be used to promote someone else’s political agenda, but will be guided to insisting that the youths of the region should be giving a proper place in the affairs of the region.
He noted that it was not necessary and completely out of place for a respected chief in Oporoza to insinuate that the Minister of Niger Delta took the leadership of the Ijaw Youth Council to Abuja to be compromised.
“We frown at that statement as we consider it too spurious and intended to blackmail a leadership who only gave the minister an audience to explain what has delayed the constitution of the NDDC board just like he came to Oporoza to explain.
We reiterate that despite the mismanagement of the IYC protest after the expiration of the 30 days ultimatum, the leadership should be commended for the efforts put in place before the eventual Oporoza meeting rather than been vilified.