President Muhammadu Buhari has been asked to dissolve and not reappoint the present board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for alleged failure to carry out the mandate of the commission while it admonished the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) who threatened to resume hostilities to have a change of focus and pursue peace.
They also submitted that the headship of the commission was rotatory, pointing out that the tenure of the present board would end in December 2017 and any attempt to reappoint or renew their tenure would be resisted.
In a communique issued by PANDLEAF and signed by its National President, Richard Akinaka; Secretary, Ubok-Obong Umoh and Spokesman, Success Jack, they decried the failure of political leaders in the Niger Delta to work cohesively for development and press for pursuit of common interest by all stakeholders.
“We vehemently reject the recent tenure renewal for the current board of the NDDC since it constitutes a conventional aberration, highly insensitive, very inciting and capable of breaching the peace currently enjoyed in the region. We hereby call on President Muhammadu Buhari to dissolve the current board and reconstitute a new one with respect to rotational consideration at the end of the current tenure in December 2017. It should be made clear that we would stop at nothing to fiercely and firmly resist this anomaly, if not reversed.
“We condemn in its totality the unhealthy political rivalry between political leaders in our states; it has reached alarming and embarrassing levels which has adversely affected us as a region. We urge them to redirect this energy and focus to form synergies in advancing a common regional, political, economic and social agenda. They should not forget in a hurry that their actions and inactions today, form the legacies for which posterity would remember them.
“We also call on state governments and federal intervention agencies to take all necessary measures aimed at improving the lives of our people with regards to projects especially on matters incidental to road infrastructure.
State governments and federal intervention agencies should embark on road construction irrespective of and without prejudice to whether it is a state or federal road. This is because federal government is not a person but the roads, so classed, are still to be used by people in the state. We urge them to borrow a leaf from the glowing examples of former governor Godswill Akpabio, who during his time as Governor, undertook the construction of all roads, many of which were on the exclusive list but till today are still been enjoyed by the people of the State,”, they said.
On the recent threat by Avengers to bomb oil facilities in the region, they said, “We strongly condemn the renewed call for hostilities by the Niger Delta Avengers since there was no basis for it; rather, they should redirect their energy, love and zeal for the region to development based issues. We strongly believe that, the time for armed struggle is over. Life is in phases and so should our struggles. We must be able to advance our agitation beyond that to the high grounds of intellectual and constructive engagement. In the alternative, we advocate a collective engagement of all stake holders at a round-table, to forge common positions and fronts for further engagements with the federal government.”