The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has urged the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswil Akpabio not to allow himself to be distracted from pursuing the reforms in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) insisting that the benefits of the reforms are being felt by the people of the region as reflected in the peace being enjoyed in the region today.
The NYCN in a statement signed by its President, Solomon Adodo reacting to allegations by critics of the Minister who accused him of passing the buck on his responsibility for the constitution of NDDC Board, urged the Minister to follow due process and not be intimidated by those who are rattled by the ongoing reforms at the NDDC.
It would be recalled that a group, Niger Delta Peoples Forum had issued a statement entitled, ‘NDDC Board: ‘Akpabio is responsible for delay of inauguration’.
However, the NYCN maintained that the allegations were baseless considering the fact that report of the Forensic Audit just submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari needs to be studied before action would be taken.
“It is spurious that the said group making allegations against the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs forgot that in the 19 years of existence of NDDC prior to this dispensation, it has always been used as conduit pipe for a few individuals to siphon resources to their private pockets without any tangible development for the region. It is rather regrettable, that now that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is on the mission of repositioning the Commission for the benefit of the entire region, these individuals are struggling to ensure that the region remains relapses back into a chaos and a redundant state”.
“The attempt by the group to thwart the achievement of Senator Akpabio such as the completion of NDDC Head office (laying claim that its was already 80% complete before his assumption of duty in July 2019); the completion of a student hostel block in Uyo; and a rural electricity project in Ondo, is laughable. The headquarter building of NDDC that was started several years ago and is completed under Akpabio is no mean achievement. While it may not be convenient for the critics to highlight the gains of NDDC under this administration, the people of the region are grateful for the reforms.” the statement noted.
The NYCN maintained that the NDDC that almost went comatose prior to the administration of President Buhari is been rejuvenated. Apart from the several infrastructural and skills acquisition programmes executed by the Commission, contractors who abandoned projects after payment fully made are returning to site to execute the projects.
Consequently, the umbrella youth body pledged to stand by the present administration to ensure that the Commission is transformed to serve the purpose it was created for.