“Niger Delta must stand on equity and brotherhood”, says Ibom Patriot

*lists priorities for agitators

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Obong Bassey Inuaeyen

A pan-Akwa Ibom socio-political group, Ibom Patriot says it is “ignobility for some groups and individuals in the Niger Delta to feel more entitled than others in the affairs of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)”, when they should rather “stand on equity and brotherhood.”

It says President Muhammadu Buhari was cleaning the Augean stable in NDDC through the appointment of Mr Effiong Akwa, Esq. as Interim Sole Administrator.

Ibom Patriot insisted that Buhari’s decision was logical as “Akwa was eminently qualified as a lawyer and chartered accountant with in-depth administrative know-how, and a noble Niger Delta son from the leading oil producing State of Akwa Ibom.”

In a statement released to newsmen in Uyo on Monday and endorsed by the group’s Chancellor, Obong Bassey Inuaeyen and the Secretary-General, Rt. Hon. Usenobong Akpabio, the group condemned the “odios protest” being extended against the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, His Excellency, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, CON, saying “it is irrational and lackadaisical.”

The statement reads thus in parts: “That this same angst is stretched to the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, His Excellency, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, CON, raises a concern as to whether Akwa Ibom sons are now easy targets. We will refuse to believe this. Niger Delta belongs to all component states in the region.

“For the record, as at November 2020 till date, the ratio of inputs by the nine (9) major oil producing States in Nigeria stands as follows: Akwa Ibom – 31.4% – 504,000 BPD; Delta – 21.56% – 346,000 BPD; Rivers – 21.43% – 344,000 BPD; Bayelsa -18.07% – 290,000 BPD; Ondo – 3.74% – 60,000 BPD; Lagos – 2.64% – 40,000 BPD; Edo – 2.06% – 33.000 BPD; Imo – 1.06 % – 17.000 BPD and Abia – 0.68% – 11.000 BPD.

“So where did President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR err by appointing Effiong Okon Akwa, to oversee the Commission?”

The group maintained that all protests against Akwa and Akpabio were “dumbfounding and monstrous obtrusion of equity and brotherhood in the Niger Delta Region.”

Applauding Mr. President on Akwa’s appointment, the group encouraged the ongoing forensic auditing of NDDC and called on dissenting voices to let peace reign in the region.

“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-struggles and pull-him-down syndrome.

“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 statement further stated.

The group sought the timely completion of the East West Road project, construction of inter-linking federal roads and the relocation of headquarters of Oil majors to the region.

It demanded the implementation of Niger Delta master plan, the Ogoni clean-up exercise and Rail Line project.

While calling on all Niger Delta people to support and work with their brethren in the present administration, Ibom Patriot enjoined all appointees of the region to imbibe the culture of consultation with Niger Delta leaders for development to thrive in the region.

“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”, the group concluded.

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