Isoko youths in Delta State under the auspices of the Isoko National Youth Council, INYC, have joined in calling for the inauguration of a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
This is as the Federal Government is still grappling with a seven-day ultimatum issued to it by ex-militant leader, Ekpemupolo Government, popularly known as Tompolo.
To douse tension, the Minister of Niger Delta Development Commission, Senator Godswill Akpabio visited the ex-militant in his hometown, though a truce was not brokered to for the NDDC’s sole administrator to remain in office beyond the deadline.
The Isoko who stormed the Umeh junction axis of the East/West road, protested the delay of the Federal Government to inaugurate a substantive board for the NDDC.
The angry youths vowed to shut down oil exploration in the Isoko nation, should the Federal Government not take their ultimatum serious by inaugurating the board in three days.
Displaying placards with various inscriptions such as “PMB listen to the voice of the youth,s” “NDDC is for South South Region and Not for Akpabio,” ”Listen to South South Governors’ amongst others, the protesters expressed dismay at the silence of President Buhari towards the inauguration of the board.
Speaking during the protest, President of INYC, Comrade Matthew Edugbo said: “We are all aware of how other ethnic nationalities, the Ijaws, Itsekiris Urhobo and others have been calling for the inauguration of the board but he is not understanding their languages and having known that it is only Isoko he understands we have come to speak the Isoko language for him to know that we are very serious.”
While urging the President to implement and work with the NDDC Act, he said; “we are tired of the Sole Administratorship of NDDC that has been introduced by Godswill Akpabio. We are giving him three days ultimatum or else his guards will meet with us in our various villages where the oil companies are operating.
“We will not block the road again but he will hear from us in our various villages and towns where they have the multinational oil companies as the oil will not flow from Isoko land again.
“The gentility of the Isoko youths should not be taken for stupidity or foolishness. We urge Mr President to do the needful. Niger Delta comprise nine state and not for Akpabio alone.”
Mr. Lawrence Owhe also said; “while we are not against the forensic audit of the board, Mr President should understand that the inauguration of the NDDC board cut across the nine states of the region and not for specific race or individual alone.”