Youths of the Niger Delta region and other agitators have agreed to suspend their protest against the failure by the Federal Government to constitute a substantive Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
This followed an agreement reached at a consultative meeting between the youths, critical stakeholders and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, held at Oporoza, in Gbaramatu kingdom.
Speaking on the development, INC President, Prof Benjamin Okaba, thanked the youths for their understanding, noting that the suspension of the protest would ensure sustainable peace in the Niger Delta region, particularly in view of the current security situation in the country.
Prof Okaba, who spoke through the National Publicity Secretary of INC , Engr. Oyakemeagbegha Ezonebi, acknowledged that the youths were fighting a just cause as the issue of a substantive Board of the NDDC had been on since 2019.
The INC President, however, stated that the body thought it necessary for the youths to first explore peaceful resolution of the matter through dialogue and thanked them for believing in the leadership of INC
He also thanked the stakeholders, including High Chief Governnent Ekpomukpolo (Tompolo); Ijaw National Leader, Chief E. K. Clark; The Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, the Delta State Governor Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and his Deputy, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro, traditional rulers, representatives of the ethnic nationalities in the region and security agencies for their roles in the peace process.
Prof Okaba urged the Federal Governnent, particularly the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to ensure that the agreement reached at the meeting, with respect to constituting the NDDC Board before the end of June, was implemented to the latter, as the INC would not be a party to anything to the contrary.
He described as despicable the excuse that the forensic audit of the interventionist agency was responsible for the delay in constituting the Board, and assured the Ijaw nation that whatever was due to the Ijaw ethnic nationality would not elude it.