A group in Akwa Ibom state functioning as Ibom Patriots, has called on the people of the Niger Delta to make equity and oneness their watch words in relating with one another.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Chancellor of the group, Obong Bassey Inuaeyen and Secretary General, Usenobong Akpabio and made available to newsmen in uyo yesterday.
This call which may not be unconnected with the multiple criticisms that has trailed the recent appointment of Mr Effiong Akwa, as the sole administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is apt by President Mohammadu Buhari.
The group noted with dismay the open display of callousness by some groups and individuals, who patently exhibit a sense of entitlement over others in the affairs of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the region as a whole.
According to the group, “This charade manifested recently when President Muhammadu Buhari, firmed up his resolve to clean the Augean stable in NDDC by appointing Effiong Okon Akwa as the Interim Administrator to oversee the affairs of the Commission until the forensic audit exercise is completed and a substantive board appointed.
Ibom Patriots who said the decision to appoint Effiong Akwa remains logical further explained that he is eminently qualified as a lawyer and chartered accountant with in-depth administrative know-how.
“He is also a noble Niger Delta son from the leading oil producing State, Akwa Ibom”
The group further berated the protest against the Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio, describing it as “condemnable, irrational and lackadaisical”
The statement stated in part,” We therefore view the reported protests by Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) and some other elements in the region against the appointment of Effiong Okon Akwa, and Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio as dumbfounding and a monstrous obtrusion of equity and brotherhood in the Niger Delta region. This overbearing superiority claim to privileges, opportunities and benefits in the affairs of the region can no longer stand”.
“Ibom Patriots aligns with progressive minds in the region to resist these devious tendencies as well as condemn the tirade of disapproval reportedly championed by a group postulating as Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) either for themselves or for others, against these Akwa Ibom sons.
“While applauding Mr. President on the appointment of Effiong Okon Akwa, we equally support his holistic drive for a forensic auditing of NDDC, for the sole intention of ensuring that the aims and objectives of the Commission as conceptualized at inception is effectively realized. Accordingly, we urge all dissenting voices to let peace reign in the region.
The aphorism that “What is good for the goose is also good for the gander” resonates under this circumstance. As a region, we have to federate communally to maximize the opportunities granted us by God in our environment rather than engage in mindless ethnic-infused struggles and pull-him-down syndrome.
“There are prevalent challenges that we should collectively champion for the region. As oil producing states, it is principally our God given natural resources that enable our nation, Nigeria to drive the economy and service the country.
“We should therefore constantly champion the development of the region by demanding the Federal Government and oil majors operating in the region to deepen their impacts”.
The group appealed for the completion of the East West Road project, construction of inter-linking federal roads and the relocation of headquarters of Oil majors to the region which they noted should be implemented without delay.
They also made case for realisation of the Niger Delta master plan, the Ogoni clean-up exercise and Rail Line project stressing that those are the glaring issues of concern before the Niger Deltans, not dissipation of energy on incongruous matters.
“It is our candid opinion that for the effective derivation of our benefits, Niger Delta region must stand on equity and brotherhood. We must cherish each other and avoid self-distrust”.