Ijaw Youths Vow to Resist Smear Campaign against NCDMB Boss

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Olusegun Samuel in Yenagoa

The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) has warned those behind the deliberate releasing of reports over alleged perjury and unfounded charges against the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content, Development, Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Kesiye Wabote.

The youths warned that they would resist any attempt by “these symbols of corruption to sponsor smear campaign against Wabote and his years of achievement which is visible even to the blind in the country, and indeed the African continent.”

The body of Ijaw youths worldwide said it has observed and carry out discreet investigation into the sources of the “unfounded, wicked and baseless news droppings on some news sites, and discovered that the campaign against Wabote is sponsored.”

A statement issued by the spokesman of the group, Ebilade Ekerefe, said the alleged perjury case were sponsored by those who are threatened by the rising global profile Wabote as a result of his unprecedented performance and achievements in the oil and gas sector since he took over as the executive secretary in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, hence, the anger and the campaign of calumny by mischief makers.

The statement read: “The Ijaw Youths Council Worldwide undoubtedly want to put it on record that Wabote is our son. And we are proud to stand up anywhere to defend his honor as a hardworking, committed and upright Ijaw man.

“For us as progressive minded youths of the region, we are proud to say that it was under Wabote’s watch that various achievements were recorded in the oil and gas industry under President Buhari. He ensured that that the NCDMB corporate headquarters located in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State, was completed and inaugurated. Also, the Board ensured the investment in the composite cylinder factory, completion of the 10MW power plant, establishment of the FPSO integration facility, initiated project 100 initiative, construction of oil and gas parks scheme and the creation of US$350 million integration fund.

“For us, who are focused and believed in our own, Wabote’s activities in the oil and gas industry have re-affirmed the ‘Giant of Africa’ position on the continent with the enabling 50 per cent domiciliation of $12billion NLGN Train 7 project, promotion of African Local Content and the introduction of Nigerian Content 10 year’s strategic road map.

“Most importantly, thousands of women and youths from the states of the region have benefitted from training, skill acquisition, empowerment and human capacity development from the vision and upright posture of NDCMB under Wabote.

“Despite the fact that we are not politicians, but activists interested in performance, achievements and development, the NCDMB under Wabote has attained 70 per cent of Nigerian content in the oil and gas industry.”

They, therefore, called on those known dissident Niger Deltans who have become tools in the hands of those corrupt elements and specialists in the “pull-him-down” sector to stop or they will move all out to make life unbearable for them in their home and community.

The group continued: “The Ijaw youths in the nine states of the Niger Delta region are ready to stage a peace rally to warn those involved in the frivolous, unwarranted and libelous allegations to desist from it or face the anger of the youths of the region. This is a political year so politicians should face their politics and leave the technocrats to continue with the technical aspects of keeping the Niger Delta and Nigeria together through policy framework in the oil and gas sector.

“We, therefore, call on President Buhari not to allow these sponsored attacks on Wabote to stand.”