22 December 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The Ijaw Youths Congress, IYC, on Thursday barricaded the headquarters of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, in protest against the purported plans by the Federal Government to extend the tenure of the current management board of the Commission.
The youths, carrying placards with different inscriptions and led by Mr. Pereotubo Oweilaemi-faction of IYC, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to respect the established rotational policy among member states in the appointment of the management board of NDDC, which is contained in the Act that established the Commission.
Some of the placards read; “We demand adherence to the existing NDDC rotation policy”, “Ijaw Nation Rejects NDDC tenure extension”, “End the Corruption in NDDC now!”
Warning that any attempt to extend the tenure of the current board of the Commission would cause another round of crisis in the region, Oweilaemi called on President Buhari to reject any attempt by Mr. Nsima Ekere and Sen. Ndoma Egba-led administration of NDDC to secure the extension of their stay in office.
He said that Nsima Ekere-led administration expired on the 16th December 2017, and must not be allowed to resume in January 2018, calling on President Buhari to make new appointment in line the policy of rotation among member states.
According to him, “We are in front of this Commission that was established to cater for the needs of the people of Niger Delta as a result of the failure of the Managing Directors of the NDDC to deliver the essence for the establishment of the commission to the people.
“People that have been appointed to take charge of this place have always played politics with our blood. We want to tell President Muhammadu Buhari and the world that NDDC has not done well. We are here today to protest against an illegal and unacceptable tenure elongation obtained by the board.”
The IYC President explained that the current Board was appointed to complete the tenure of Akwa Ibom State which was started by Mr. Dan Abia (immediate past MD of NDDC).
Oweilaemi accused Nsima Ekere of scheming to take over the tenure which according to him, belonged to another state in the region.
“This present administration was appointed to complete the tenure of Akwa Ibom which has expired on the 16th December 2017 and Nsima Ekere completed it.
“We are demanding that the administration of Ekere should not resume in January because their tenure has elapsed,” he said.
The Ijaw Youth President further called on the National Assembly to wade into the matter and commence the process of appointing another board, warning that if the current board resumed in January 2018, “there would be persistent protest in the region.”