Hundreds of Urhobo youths under the auspices of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Youth Wing on Thursday, June 3, shut down the office of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.
The youths, who were seen chanting solidarity songs and marched from the NDDC office to Edjeba Community junction, said they would not leave the NDDC office until the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government constituted and inaugurated a substantive board that has already been screened by the Senate.
They also carried placards with inscriptions such as, “We are tired of your existence; go away”, “NDDC employ our youths”, “Mobilize contractor for the 12-year abandoned project Peter Kings road through Hilltop”, “NDDC stop marginalizing Edjeba Community”, “NDDC develop us or leave our land”, “We say No to bad governance”, “We seek justice in the NDDC”.
President of the group, Comrade Efemena Umukoro, in a chat with newsmen called on President Buhari to immediately sack and probe the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Godswill Akpabio just as he kicked against the “sole administratorship” NDDC.
He said Akpabio has done more harm than good to the people of the Niger Delta region.
He further said that the people of the Niger-Delta region, are saying enough is enough, noting that one man cannot trade with the interests of the entire region. This is not about the Urhobos but about the entire Niger Delta region, he said.
“One man cannot be the EDP. One man cannot be the Executive Director. One man cannot be the MD. We are saying No. We are for fairness and equity and justice, we are saying that the President Buhari-led Federal Government should inaugurate the substantive board.”
He opined that there are no signs of NDDC development in the region, urging the president to disclose the names of the persons who have defrauded the people of the oil rich Niger-Delta region.
“As Niger Delta people, as the Urhobo Progress Union Youth President, I am standing with all other ethnic presidents in the region and we are saying President Buhari your government came up to fight corruption. Please fight corruption for us and inaugurate a substantive board for us”, he stated.
He added that they don’t want the militants to strike anymore, saying that they want peace in the Niger Delta. We are against violence as a people. But when justice is traded, the people go violent. We do not want to go violent.
“This is Edjeba Community. Look at the roads. This is an NDDC office on Edjeba land. This is to tell you the people have been suffering. The Urhobo Progress Union, we are saying enough is enough.”
Comrade Umukoro commended those in the struggle in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, and Bayelsa State for sustaining the tempo of the protests.