Admin l Friday, February 10, 2023
PORT HARCOURT – The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, has charged Ijaw leaders and Niger Delta stakeholders to support the Commission in the task of developing Nigeria’s oil-rich region.
Ogbuku made the appeal during a courtesy visit by Ijaw leaders and stakeholders of the Niger Delta region at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt.
He declared: “We want the world to know that Ijaw people have gone beyond street agitation; we are now involved in intellectual engagements. The time for agitation is over, this is the time for development. We sacrificed a lot during the struggle for the emancipation of the Niger Delta region. This is the time to turn that struggle into development.”
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer thanked the Ijaw leaders for coming to show solidarity with him and the new leadership in the Commission, stating that the mandate of fast-tracking the development of the Niger Delta region must not be compromised.
Ogbuku said: “The NDDC Board is confronted with a big challenge and we cannot afford to fail.”
“NDDC is meant for all ethnic groups in the Niger Delta region.” We are one people and it’s best that we are united even in our diversity. We must watch each other’s back.”
The Ijaw leaders presented a plaque to the NDDC boss with the inscription: Dr Samuel Ogbuku, Soar like an Eagle and Roar like a Lion.”
Earlier in an address read on behalf of the Ijaw leaders, Chief Timi Ogoriba, urged the Federal Government and oil companies to release all withheld allocations and funds accruable to the NDDC to enable it to actualise its mandate.
They stated: “We want the new Board to embark on significant and impactful projects that will win the hearts and confidence of the people. Some of such projects include the Warri-Escravos Road, Onuebum-Ayakoro Road and bridges to link communities along the Ikoli Creek that connect River Nun, Dualization of Ede-Epie-Imiringi-Kolo-Ogbia Road, the Benin-Gelegele Road, the Udo-Enekorogha-Ofunama Road, the Opokuma-Okoloba-Sabageria-Polaku Road, among others.
The Ijaw leaders said that they were “delighted because this is the first time an active participant in the contemporary struggle for the liberation or emancipation of the Ijaw Nation and the Niger Delta region from economic and political servitude has been appointed as Head and Chief Accounting Officer of this strategic interventionist Commission.”
They said they were optimistic that NDDC will change for the better “now that we have a product of the struggle on the saddle.”
The Ijaw leaders called for an aggressive human capital development through skills acquisition and ICT Centres to train the youths and women in oil industry related skills and other fields that would make them self-reliant.
They stated: “We shall give you maximum support to enable you succeed and make a great difference in this Commission. We fully support the cancellation of contracts as recommended in the forensic audit report.”