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NDDC: Akpabio appeals to protesting Ijaw youths for peace

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The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has appealed to the protesting Ijaw youths to sheath their swords and allow peace to reign.

Recall that the Ijaw Youths Council had on Thursday staged a nationwide protest, shutting down all the NDDC offices in the country in demand for a constitution of substantive NDDC board members.

The Minister, according to a press statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary Anietie Ekong and issued to our Correspondent in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, on Friday, immediately met with the angry youths and appealed for calm.

Senator Akpabio reminded them that the Niger Delta has been one of the most peaceful regions in the country therefore should not be allowed to be plunged into crisis even as he promised to address the issues that led to the protest

He also noted that a board for the NDDC would be constituted after the conclusion of the forensic audit ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said, “actually the audit exercise was to be completed within six months, unfortunately that exercise was extended due to the national lockdown occasioned by the outbreak of CoronaVirus and logistical challenges.

“But the forensic auditors have already submitted two interim reports to the President, by July the auditors are expected to submit the final report to pave the way for the inauguration of the board.”

He therefore appealed to the youths to resist attempts by unscrupulous politicians and contractors to use them to cause a crisis in the region.

Meanwhile, the leadership of IYC after a consultative meeting with Akpabio urged the youths to remain calm and maintain peace adding that they should not allow the genuine protest to be hijacked by people who never meant well for the region.

The National Spokesperson of IYC, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe while addressing the press said: “Our position is very clear: The protest was not intended to cause unnecessary havoc in the region.

“Nobody wants a protest that will not take us anywhere. The essence of the protest is for discussions. And now we’ve discussed with the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.

“Immediately after now, we will communicate back to our people that something is in the offing that will benefit everybody in the region and the youths will be carried along.

 

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NDDC: Akpabio appeals to protesting Ijaw youths for peace

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