By Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide, has again, urged the federal government to allow the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) implement its core mandate for the region, rather than use the interventionist agency as an election funding body.
The group comprising all youths of Ijaw descent, advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to leave the development of the Niger Delta region unattended to while the NDDC is allowed to derail.
In a statement made available to journalists in Yenagoa and signed by the IYC Secretary General, Mr. Alfred Kemepado, the council insisted that the organisation must be restructured in such a way that any of its leaders interested in politics must first resign their appointments with the commission.
The duo of Mr. Nsima Ekere, Managing Director of the organisation and Senator Ndoma Egba, Chairman, is currently gunning for the governorship and a senatorial seat in their respective states.
Kemepado argued that not being able to separate the agency from the whims of politics had always been the bane of the NDDC and called on the federal government to ensure that the story of the body changes for good.
According to the IYC, in the last five months, the agency had been suffering on the altar of politics, abandoning the people it was set up to serve.
“There is no more commitment to the challenges of the commission but their local politics. This impunity in the commission is inimical to the development of the Niger Delta, especially Ijaw land,” the IYC maintained.
The IYC Scribe argued that the current state of affairs in the commission was capable of provoking fresh anger in the region and called on President Buhari to show more respect for the developmental issues of the Niger Delta.
“Furthermore, we call on all Niger Delta sons and daughters to vote for issues in the forthcoming elections and not for parties or people with fake promises.
“Our youths should endeavour to shun all those who have been playing politics with our development,” the IYC said.
N33,000 Minimum Wage only for Gotel TV, Radio not All Atiku Employee
The Atiku Cmapaign Organisation has said the N33,000 minimum wage said to have been approved by the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for all its workers was not a true reflection of what has transpired in their fold.
According to a response clarifying the situation, instead of the 100,000 workforce under companies owned by Atiku, the real staff strength was 50,000 while the N33,000 minimum wage was as announced only by Gotel Communications owned by him which did not affect his other companies.
“Our attention has been drawn to reports in a section of the media alluding that the Presidential candidate of the PDP and former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar has approved N33,000 as minimum wage to all 100,000 staff under his conglomerate.
“We wish to set the records straight and state as follows:
“That we can confirm that indeed Gotel, one of Atiku Abubakar’s ventures, has approved N33, 000 as minimum wage for staff of the company effective November 2018.
“That at no time did any representative of the company speak to any journalist on the issue. That overtly excited staff of the company may have shared this info with their colleagues in the other media organisations in the state, who in turn may have gone to press with it without confirming from us.
“That we can only confirm that this policy of N33,000 minimum wage is only applicable to staff of Gotel Communications Limited for now.
“That the details of the report alluding that the minimum wage of N33,000 is to cover 100,000 staff under the Atiku conglomerate is mere fabrication intended for mischief.
“That Gotel Communications Ltd along with other companies under the Atiku business mix boasts of about 50,000 hardworking and contented workers.
“That the management of Gotel Communications Limited, owners of Gotel Radio and TV are appreciative of the gesture of our founder in raising the minimum wage of the staff to a living wage,” the statement said.