Nigerians based in North Carolina, United States of America have said the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was provoking rising discontent in the six states in the region.
They warned that any attempt to appoint another interim administrator would truncate the fragile peace in the region.
Other militant groups and ex-militant leaders in the region had been clamouring for the constitution of a substantive Board of the NDDC since the beginning of the Buhari’s administration. The group under the aegis of the Niger Delta Patriotic Alliance (NDPA), North America Chapter, Washington DC, USA, in an open letter to Buhari warned that despite the existing peace in the Niger Delta region, the seven years refusal to set up a substantive board for the NDDC and attempt to appoint another interim administrator may provoke a violent reaction from the people of the region.
In the letter signed by its Secretary General, Mr. Keneth Friday, warned against the alleged plot to sack the Interim Administrator, Mr. Effiong Akwa and replace him with another.
The group declared that facts available showed that the alleged planned sack of Effiong Akwa, for another interim administrator would provoke a new form of agitation and restiveness among the youths and stakeholders across the region.
In the statement made available to newsmen in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state, the group added: “What the region needs, according to studies and research, is the appointment of a substantive Board for the NDDC.
“They don’t want you to sack the incumbent interim administrator for another. If the interim administrator is to be sacked, he must be replaced with a substantive board for the commission.
“Mr. President, the People of the Niger Delta region are calling on you to distance yourself from any appointment of a New NDDC Interim Administrator.
“You must have observed that for almost seven years of the life of your administration, you have not constituted a substantive NDDC Board for the commission despite the decision of the key stakeholders to keep the peace in the region.”
The group added: “The people in the Niger Delta region are not happy with your administration’s decision to toy with a commission that contributes to contentious issues of development, empowerment and other economic activities in the region.
“While we are urging that you retain the Interim Administrator, Mr. Effiong Akwa until a substantive board is appointed, we want to point out that the appointment of a substantive NDDC Board will provide a wider and legal representation across the Niger Delta region that will expedite economic growth and development.
“Instead of acceding to the provocative plan of anti-APC politicians for the sack of Effiong Akwa and replace him with another interim administrator, it is better for Mr. President to salvage the falling rating of his administration and that of his party by appointing a substantive board to complete the announced sanitisation of the commission.”
Culled from THISDAY