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NDDC : Benin Youths Throw Weight Behind Stakeholders Meeting With Akpabio, Tompolo, Endorse The Inaguration Of Odubu, Okumagba Led Board 

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COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF AN EXPANDED EMERGENCY MEETING OF BENIN YOUTHS ASSEMBLY (BYA) HELD IN BENIN CITY EDO STATE ON MONDAY 7TH JUNE, 2021.

At the meeting of the leaders of Benin Youths Assembly drawn from different Benin Youths Organizations in Edo State held on Monday 7th June 2021 to discuss matters of urgent public importance in the Niger Delta, specifically the recent 7 days ultimatum issued by High Chief Government Ekpemupolo ( Tompolo), the meeting of Niger Delta stakeholders with the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Godswill Akpabio and the end of June deadline to inaugurate a substantive board for NDDC, the following resolutions were reached:

1. That we commend High Chief Government Ekpemupolo for reawakening the struggle for the inauguration of a substantive board for NDDC by the issuance of a seven days ultimatum to the Federal Government to inaugurate the NDDC Board and the subsequent call for peace in the region in view of the assurance of the Honourable Minister that the board will be inaugurated on or before June 30th, 2021.

2. That we appreciate and commend the Hon. Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Godswill Akpabio for initiating the meeting with stakeholders from the region where they were given the opportunity to express themselves. More importantly, we thank the Deputy Governor of Delta State who represented the Governor, Traditional Rulers present and representatives, leaders of the region, who stood in and spoke on behalf of the various Ethnic Nationalities in Niger Delta. We salute their bravery and ability to tell the Hon. Minister the truth without fear or compromise.

3. We are pleased with the outcome of the meeting and the promise by the Hon. Minister to commence the process of inaugurating a substantive board by the end of June. However, our position is that the Hon. Minister must, as a matter of importance, ensure that the already constituted board with Dr Pius Odubu as Chairman and Chief Bernard Okumagba as Managing Director, screened and confirmed by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is the board to be inaugurated.

4. That our position is primarily premised on the fact that since the establishment of the NDDC, no person, man or woman, from Benin ethnic nationality has been appointed Chairman in spite of our peaceful and cooperative disposition and our high contribution to Oil and Gas production in Nigeria.

5. That the appointment of a Benin man from Orhionmwon Local Government Area (the LGA with the highest Gas production in Nigeria) as Chairman of the Commission was well celebrated by our people who, hitherto, have been marginalized and unfairly relegated in the administration of NDDC. Hence our Royal Father, Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II personally sent a letter of appreciation to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari.

6. That as a people with great men, women and vibrant youths who have been peaceful, understanding and cooperative with the Federal Government and Oil producing companies in our area, we deserve the Chairmanship of the Commission. Anything short of this will be viewed as injustice and an attempt to undermine the Benin’s and a deliberate test of the will of our people, which will be vehemently resisted.

7. That the appointment of Dr Pius Odubu, a two-time member of the Federal House of Representative, two time Deputy Governor of Edo State and the Director of Logistics, Buhari/Osinbajo Presidential Campaign 2019, as Chairman is a well thought out process and it represents a new hope for the Niger Delta Region. Combined with Mr Bernard Okumagba, an accomplished banker and an astute technocrat with an outstanding record of service as Managing Director, the NDDC will be exceedingly transformed for the interest and development of the Niger Delta Region.

8. That no attempt should be made to tinker or alter the board as already constituted, screened and confirmed. The only thing left in the process of having a substantive board for the NDDC is the formal inauguration of the confirmed board. To do otherwise will not only lead to unnecessary delay and conflict of interest, it will create serious legal abnormalities.

9. That the BYA has the capacity to shut down Nigeria’s economy, but we have always chosen to be peaceful, hoping that this will not be taken for weakness. Our position is that the Dr. Pius Odubu and Chief Okumagba led board already screened and confirmed by the Senate be inaugurated on or before June 30, 2021. Anything short of this will collectively rejected vehemently and comprehensively.

10. That we restate our commitment to continuously engage all critical stakeholders in the Niger Delta region, irrespective of party affiliations or interest, in the collective efforts to foster peace, unity, security and sustainable development of the Niger Delta Region for the betterment of our people.

Signed.

Marxist Kola Edokpayi
( Coordinator-General)

Barr. Felix Osemwengie Isere
(Secretary-General)

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