A group of youths in Akwa Ibom State, under the aegis of Coalition of Akwa Ibom Oil Producing Communities Network (CAOPCYN), have threatened to stop at nothing until the alleged injustice against their communities is addressed.
They demand President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately appoint an indigene from the core oil producing communities in Akwa Ibom as the next Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to complete the tenure of the sacked Barr. Bassey Dan Abia who was ejected seven months ago.
The group in a communique available to our newsdesk stated that Akwa Ibom state being the highest oil producing state in the Niger Delta region which has not been affected by renewed militancy deserves a better treatment from the President Buhari administration.
According to the Coordinator of the group, Comrade Umo David Etukudo, the peace experienced in the core oil producing communities in the state which has ensured that despite the surge in attacks in other states of the region the crude oil production level has not dipped below 1.9million barrels per day should not be taken for granted by the federal government.
He stated that while they are in support of a dialogue with militants in the region by the Federal government, Akwa Ibom remains the backbone of the nation’s oil and gas industry and should not be neglected but considered in all appointments by the Buhari administration, especially at the NDDC.
“We are dismayed that despite the huge contributions of our state to the nation’s economy, none of our prominent sons was considered in the just reconstituted Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other federal commissions and agencies so far set up.”
The group also described as unacceptable, those touted by miscreants as possible contenders for the board of the NDDC by the President, like the former governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state; Umana Okon Umana and other political gladiators who are not from the oil producing areas and as such should not be mentioned.
They averred that apart from lacking the credibility and capacity to deliver the much needed change to the region’s fortune and infrastructure the politicians represent injustice to the “goose that lays the golden eggs,” and demanded that only citizens from the core oil producing communities in the state with the character, competence and charisma to deliver on the mandate of the NDDC should be appointed by the President.
According to the youths, the appointment to the NDDC board should not be a reward for failed politicians in the state under the APC umbrella, but should be made based on the capacity of the appointee to elevate the welfare of the people in the region through transparent and visionary projects and programmes.
They also stated that failure to meet the demands by the group might lead to another wave of hostilities from the region especially from oil producing communities in Akwa Ibom state who feel marginalized by the government in allocation of resources and positions.