…accuses politicians of sponsoring #OccupyNigerDelta protests
ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
An advocacy group, the Niger Delta Peace Advocates, has faulted the rising protests and renewed agitations for President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute the substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission.
In a statement on Tuesday, the National Coordinator of NDPA, Mr Osagie Osagiede, slammed some political office holders from the region for allegedly sponsoring the recent pockets of protests by Ijaw youths and ultimatums issued by ex-militant leaders.
Osagiede rationalised that despite the sincerity in the call for the immediate constitution of the substantive board for the NDDC, the rising tension and threats of bloodshed thrown up by the protests and issuance of ultimatum were misdirected and misplaced.
He said the whole scenario showed the hidden agenda of the sponsors and their cronies to arm twist President Buhari to hurriedly appoint the NDDC board to fulfill their inordinate ambitions for 2023.
The NDPA boss said it could have been more justifiable if the protests were predicated on bringing about the realisation of restructuring, equal partnership in the oil and gas industry, true federalism and constructive development.
He, however, expressed sadness that those allegedly sponsoring the protests and ultimatums were only interested in stopping the ongoing forensic audit, sacking of the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and the constitution of a substantive board to perpetuate their political ambitions and cover up their past loot in the commission.
Osagiede argued: “These powerful politicians have shown that they have scuttled the sincere agitations of Ijaw youths through a wedge between its President, Comrade Timothy Igbifa and the national executives.
“We have also noticed that the crux of all statements made on this issue is geared towards the sack of Akpabio, stoppage of the forensic audit and inauguration of substantive board. Are these the major things that all the Niger Delta people need?
“We have also discovered that Senator Godswill Akpabio has become a bone in their throat for the control of the NDDC. Therefore, we urge President Muhammadu Buhari to read between the lines and caution these anti-Niger Delta political office holders.
“Instead of succumbing to those sponsors, youths and ex-agitators in the region should ask them what they have personally used their offices to bring to the region. These men are desperate and they have used their desperate resources to create divisions, tension and threats of bloodshed among the people of the region.”