NDDC Board: Tompolo Canvasses Restrain As June Deadline Ends

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NDDC Board: Tompolo Canvasses Restrain As June Deadline Ends

NDDC Board: Tompolo Canvasses Restrain As June Deadline Ends
July 02
18:48 2021

Former Niger Delta warlord Chief Government Ekpemupolo (alias Tompolo) has urged agitators in the region to show restrain in the face of Federal Government’s failure to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The Nation had reported Tompolo’s seven-day ultimatum led to a consultative meeting of major Niger Delta stakeholders with Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, in early June.

The Minister had assured the process will be fast-tracked for constitution of the board within June.

President Mohammadu Buhari had told critical stakeholders of the region the board will be inaugurated as soon as he receives the report of the forensic audit last week.

Tompolo, who is the Ibe-Ebidouwei of Ijaw Nation, in a statement on Friday, said though the promised time-frame has elapsed, there has been no visible move towards the inauguration of the board.

He appealed to agitators to remain calm, noting development can only thrive in an atmosphere of peace.

He also took a swipe at international oil companies (IOCs), accusing them of being part of a conspiracy to marginalise the Niger Delta.

“June 2021 has come to an end. The people of the region are yet to see any tangible move towards the constitution of the NDDC board by the Federal Government. The people are seriously agitated. There is palpable fear and tension in the region.

“I wish to reiterate my earlier position that the government should as a matter of urgency, constitute the substantive board of the NDDC to avoid unnecessary bickering and crisis in the region.

“Since I reluctantly accepted the outcome of the consultative meeting, I have done so much to keep peace in the region which some major stakeholders in the security circle are aware of.

“I have been in constant touch with my fellow agitators in the region to give peace a chance, knowing fully well that there cannot be any meaningful development in an atmosphere of rancor and acrimony.

“As it stands now, the one thing the government must do in this issue is to be courageous enough to constitute the NDDC board. Government must be sincere in handling developmental issues in the Niger Delta region as the people have suffered enough, being neglected for several decades.

“The truth of the matter is that there is so much bitterness in the land owing to the lackadaisical attitude of this government in handling matters of great importance to its citizens.

“As for my follow agitators, please permit me to borrow the biblical words of Jesus Christ, that we should be wise as serpent and gentle as dove to continue our agitation for a better living for our people.

“We must avoid anything that may throw the only relatively peaceful region in the country now, into chaos because of government’s nonchalant attitude towards the security and welfare of its citizenry as constitutionally provided.

“The average Nigerian citizen is a government of his or her own as the citizens provides everything for themselves today. The government is unfair to a greater number of its citizens. The Nigerian Government must create an enabling environment for the citizens to live a prosperous and peaceful life.

Multinational oil companies operating in the Niger delta region are not left out in the troubles of the region. They are clearly part of the conspiracy in the marginalization of the region.
“They must perform their statutory obligations to the people of the region by promptly delivering cooperate social responsivities to the people. Most of the companies are operating under the cover of the Nigerian Military, which has further exacerbated the relationship between Multinationals and their host communities.

“They must do their business in a most friendly atmosphere, and not to set neighbouring host communities against one another,” parts of the statement read.

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