By Emma Amaize
NIGER-DELTA agitators have asked Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, Col. Milland Dikio (retd.) and Interim Administrator, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr Effiong Akwa, to visit the ‘heart’ of the Niger-Delta struggle in Delta and Bayelsa States to see the wretched condition of the people and bolster the prevalent peace in the region.
The agitators made the call under the auspices of the 21st Century Youths of Niger Delta and Agitators with Conscience, 21st CYNDAC, in a statement, weekend, by the coordinator of the group, self-styled “General” Izon Ebi.
Specifically commending the minister, PAP coordinator and NDDC interim administrator for their troubleshooting move that took them to the palace of the traditional ruler of Okochiri kingdom in Rivers State and ex-militant militant leader, His Majesty, King Ateke Tom, Thursday, the agitators said: “It is well-thought-of coming down from Abuja to meet and talk to the people to abhor violence.”
“We, therefore, use this opportunity to urge the Minister and his team to visit the heart of the Niger Delta in Delta and Bayelsa states and also use the occasion to see things for themselves the pathetic and unfortunate situation of the people, unfold government development template for the region in order to rekindle there hopes and aspirations as a people.
“This move will cement unity and harmony as a people because the coastal and riverside communities of Bayelsa and Delta states lack the presence of NDDC.
“We also applaud the peace efforts of Akpabio, Dikio, Akwa and other critical stakeholders for their understanding for the first time in the history of Niger Delta to fast track development by putting Niger Delta above their personal and political interest, and work in synergy for the development and well-being of the people of the region.
“The forensic audit of the commission must be thoroughly carried out to expose those leaders and politicians that mismanaged and stole 19 trillion meant for the development of the Niger Delta for justice to prevail and usher in a new order of accountability and prudent management of Resource.
“We similarly implore fellow youths and agitators in Niger Delta to be mindful of the antics of the enemies of the development of the region and join hands with leaders and other drivers of development in the region.
“We are hopeful of a new Niger Delta and applauds Mr. President for his resolve and firm determination to do the right thing concerning the NDDC and the peace and development of the Niger Delta region,” the agitators said.