By Ekemini Simon
As tension continue to rise over the appointment of Barr Effiong Akwa, as an Interim Administrator to oversee the affairs of Niger Delta Development Commission during the forensic audit, a Pan Sociopolitical organization in Akwa Ibom State has risen in defence of the federal appointees from Akwa Ibom state currently at the helm of affairs in Niger Delta.
Ibom Patriots in a statement jointly signed by the Chancellor and Secretary of the Organization, Obong Bassey Inuaeyen and Barr Usenobong Akpabio, said the reported protests by Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) and some other persons in the region against Effiong Akwa’s appointment and Senator Godswill Akpabio is a charade and an open display of ignobility.
The organization noted that the appointment by President Buhari remains logical since according to them Effiong Akwa is not only eminently qualified as a lawyer and chartered accountant with in-depth administrative know-how; he is also a noble Niger Delta son from the leading oil producing State of Akwa Ibom.
Ibom Patriots pointed out that the extension of the protest against the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio is condemnable, irrational and lackadaisical.
The Organization added ” For the record, as at November 2020 and counting, the ratio of inputs by the nine (9) major oil producing States in Nigeria stood as follows: Akwa Ibom – 31.4% – 504,000 BPD; Delta – 21.56% – 346,000 BPD; Rivers – 21.43% – 344,000 BPD; Bayelsa -18.07% – 290,000 BPD; Ondo – 3.74% – 60,000 BPD; Lagos – 2.64% – 40,000 BPD; Edo – 2.06% – 33.000 BPD; Imo – 1.06 % – 17.000 BPD and Abia – 0.68% – 11.000 BPD.”
“So where did President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR erred by appointing Effiong Okon Akwa, Esq., to oversee the Commission? Clearly, that appointment remains incontrovertible. As often said in Latin, Sana arbitrium esse irrevocabile, (Sound decision is irreversible).”
While describing the protest as dumbfounding and a monstrous obtrusion of equity and brotherhood in the Niger Delta Region, they insisted that the overbearing superiority claims to privileges, opportunities and benefits in the affairs of the region can no longer stand.
Ibom Patriot stated that it aligns with progressive minds in the region to resist such tendencies as well as condemn the tirade of disapproval reportedly championed by a group postulating as Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) either for themselves or for others, against the said Akwa Ibom sons.
While applauding Mr. President on the appointment Effiong Akwa, Ibom Patriots said it support the President’s holistic drive for a forensic auditing of NDDC, for the sole intention of ensuring that aims and objectives of the Commission as conceptualized at inception is effectively realized.
Ibom Patriots added ” Accordingly, we urge all dissenting voices to let peace reign in the region. The aphorism that “What is good for the goose is also good for the gander” resonates under this circumstance. As a region, we have to federate communally to maximize the opportunities granted us by God in our environment rather than engage in mindless ethnic-infused struggles and pull-him-down syndrome.”
“Since the establishment of NDDC under the then President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, all the component units, have held appropriate offices in the Commission as laid down under the principle of oil production ratio and other indices of accommodation in statutory employment and appointments. It therefore sounds morally reprehensible for the President’s appointment of Effiong Okon Akwa, Esq., as the interim administrator to be trailed by bogus attacks.”
” That this same angst is stretched to the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, His Excellency, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, CON, raises a concern whether Akwa Ibom sons are now easy targets. We will refuse to believe this. Niger Delta belongs to all components states in the region.”
” It is our candid opinion that for the effective derivation of our benefits, Niger Delta region must stand on equity and brotherhood. We must cherish each other and avoid self-distrust. It should be uppermost in our minds that strength lies in the whole and not in pieces.”
“We therefore call on the entire people of Niger Delta Region to support all our sons and daughters in the present administration and work with them to bring development to the region. We also call on those appointed to consult regularly with the leaders of the region to get our inputs and convey same to the Federal Government for implementation.”
The organization called on all within the region to join hands in championing the development of the region by demanding the Federal Government and oil majors operating in the region to deepen their impacts.
Ibom Patriots called for the completion of the East West Road project, construction of inter-linking federal roads and the relocation of headquarters of Oil majors to the region.
They demanded that the Niger Delta master plan, the Ogoni clean-up exercise and Rail Line project should be brought to realization.