Some South-South leaders have taken a swipe at some youths in the zone, querying the rationality of the ultimatum given to international oil firms to vacate the Niger Delta region.
“There is no reason for any such thing,” Leader of South-South Front (SSF), Chief John Harry and other notable leaders in the zone said, adding that the region had fared better under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
They described the position of the youths on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) forensic audit as unfortunate.
“We believe they are misguided and they need the counsel of the elders to regain their focus.”
They warned the youths not to destroy through reckless accusations the only institution that is promoting accelerated development in the Niger Delta region.
“We strongly believe that the stance of some youths is not in the interests of the South-South geo-political zone.”
Speaking at a solidarity forum organized by South-South Front in Abuja in honour of ministers from the South-South geo-political zone, the leaders faulted the stance of the youths in the appointment of sole administrator and the achievements of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Godswill Akpabio.
“We are grateful for having Chief Godswill Akpabio as Niger Delta Affairs Minister. He has performed greatly since his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari.”
The leaders chided Chief Edwin Clark for evolving pathetic little schemes to ensure his continued relevance, engaging in a fruitless campaign against the former governor of Akwa Ibom State and shying away from the conclusion that, as a minister, Akpabio has already restructured the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“We state without any trepidation that it is most unfair and very uncharitable for some people to throw muds at the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.”
The leaders scolded the youths for their propensity to issue unsavory rebukes and impolite pronouncements.
“They are gang of spoilers” the leaders said.
The leaders hailed Akpabio for taking far reaching decisions, bringing about a reform to save NDDC from the clutches of some individuals and doing everything within his power to better the life of the Niger Delta people.
“Godswill Akpabio has put the Niger Delta region on the path to true development.”
They also commended him for formulating policies to check leakages, making NDDC more responsive and accountable to all its principal stakeholders and ensuring the spread of “the gospel of transparency and accountability which are essential ingredients of good governance.”
“The Commission needs to have sufficient resources required for recurrent and capital expenditure.”