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NDDC: IYC divided over sole administrator’s appointment



The appointment of Mr Effiong Akwa as the sole administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission has pitted the zonal chairmen of the Ijaw Youth Council against the National President and his deputy, Peter Igbifa and Savior Olali, respectively.The zonal and chapter chairmen of IYC after a meeting yesterday in Warri, Delta State, to review strategies for further agitation and protest to shut down the activities at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, unanimously resolved and passed a vote of no-confidence in Igbifa and Olali.They alleged that Igbifa and Olali reportedly campaigned for the removal of the NDDC Interim Management Committee and the appointment of Akwa as sole administrator.IYC leaders said to be at the meeting when the vote of no confidence was passed in Igbifa and Olali included Henry Oyobolo (Chairman, Lagos chapter), Tobin James (Chairman, Eastern Zone), Chief Frank Akiefa (Chairman Western Zone), Clever Inodu (Chairman Central Zone) and Chief Diplomat Marbo (Chairman Abuja chapter). But the IYC Chairman, Lagos Chapter, Henry Oyobolo, one of the persons that allegedly attended the meeting where the resolution to pass a vote of no confidence in Igbifa and Olali, has distanced himself from the meeting.He said, “I have been notified of a report about a meeting of the IYC zonal chairmen, which held in Warrri, Delta State with a purported resolution to pass a vote of no confidence in the President of IYC, Peter Timothy Igbifa, over his alleged silence on issues surrounding the NDDC.”First, I want to state categorically that I never attended such meeting and was never part of such illegal resolutions. As a matter of fact, the constitution establishing the IYC does not give us, chapter and zonal chairmen, any authority to hold a meeting to decide the fate of the IYC President. “The IYC President is a product of a congress and is always elected by delegates from all the zones of the Ijaw ethnic nationality. He can never be removed in a kangaroo meeting of about five persons. I know this as a fact and would not have lent myself as a tool to perpetuate such illegality.”On the issue of the NDDC, I recall vividly that the current President of IYC spoke on many occasions calling for the dissolution of the Interim Management Committee and constitution of a substantive board for the NDDC. Igbifa has never been quiet on the issues of the NDDC. Therefore, I dont know where those, who gathered to issue such illegal resolutions got their facts.”Persons, who smuggled my name into their document, have shown their desperation to cause confusion in the IYC, which has been diligently pursuing the best interest for the Ijaw nation under the leadership of Igbifa. The President should be allowed to implement his vision to move the Ijaw nation forward.”I, therefore, appeal to members of the public to disregard the publication as no such meeting was held to pass vote of no confidence in Igbifa.”However, the zonal chairmen said their decision to pass vote of no confidence in Igbifa and Olali was informed by a plethora of unethical, unpatriotic and self centered actions of the two national leaders which runs contrary to the founding principles and the core mandate and objectives of the IYC.The communiqué they issued at the end of the meeting reads in part: “The president and the deputy president took an oath to defend and protect Ijaw youths. But it has become evident that their silence in the midst of challenges confronting us has become suspicious, especially in the ongoing struggle for the appointment of a substantive board in the NDDC which suggests they are complicit in the illegality that has happened in the commission.”This is coming at a time the entire Ijaw youths are opposed to a sole administrator and are agitating vehemently for the implementation of the NDDC Act which gives powers to the President of the country to appoint a substantive board that will give equal representation to the nine member states that make up the commission which will fasttrack the developmental needs of the region.”We are aware from good authority of the surreptitious meetings Peter Igbifa and his deputy, Savior Olali are having with the illegitimate occupant of the commission which violates their oath of office and in direct contradiction to our founding principles in defending the rights and expectations of the Ijaw nation.”The president and deputy president have been working tirelessly to create deep disaffection and disunity in council since their emergence which has contributed to lack of strategic direction and focus the council requires at these challenging times.”The president and deputy have since assumption of office refused to call for an expanded executive committee meeting to take critical decisions on national issues rather they will take positions that advance their personal economic interests without recourse to the interest of ijaw nation.”The two, upon emergence, have created a big crack among members of the National Executive Council thereby destroying the cohesion and unity of purpose in discharging their core mandate and obligations.”

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