By Egufe Yafugborhi
PROTESTING youths, yesterday, shut down Port Harcourt, Rivers State headquarters of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, over alleged divide and rule by the commission’s Sole Administrator, Effiong Akwa.
The protesters, in their hundreds from Ibikalama, host community to the corporate head office of NDDC, besieged the premises, accusing Akwa of going behind to appoint former Ijaw Youth Council President, Udenz Eradiri, as Special Assistant on Youths against an earlier name he reportedly assured of appointing.
The protesters, who blocked entrance of the commission with various placards, called on the Federal Government to inaugurate substantive NDDC, vowing not to accept perceived divide and rule leadership style of the sole administrator.
Spokesman for the protesters, Godgift Lucky, said: “Akwa earlier announced one Jude Akpodubakaye as his Special Assistant on Youth and Security Matters at a meeting with host community leaders last December but went behind later to present Eradiri for same position without notice to the host communities.
“Unless the interim administrator rescinds his decision on the purported appointment of the former IYC President, we will continue with the protest. Youths from Niger Delta are beginning to lose confidence in the interim administrator.”
Addressing the demonstrators, one Mr Ben Ogoriba, referred to as CSO, assured them of the intervention of the ex-militant leader and Amayanabo of Okochiri, HRM, King Ateke Tom in the brewing crisis.
“Go home and put your demands in writing and present same to the interim administrator. HRM Ateke Tom has already been briefed on the issues,” Ogoriba appealed.