The Niger Delta Youth Movement (NDYM), the umbrella body for all Niger Delta youths has expressed reservation over what it described as “the unjustified excoriation of the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, by some persons,” calling it ‘undeserving and unpatriotic.
In a statement issued by Joe Jackson and Joshua Osamuiyi, National President and National Secretary of the movement, the NDYM said it is on record that Akpabio’s records of service to Akwa Ibom State is still a reference point in leadership and public service.
“Quality roads network including Federal roads, Relocation and Construction of Federal Correctional Centre, Victor Attah International Airport, Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Akwa Ibom State University, Ibom Le’meridian Hotels and Gulf Resort, Ibom E- Library, yearly Integrated Farmers Scheme, free, qualitative and compulsory education as well as regular grants to primary and secondary schools’ heads, regular payments of grants to students in law schools, Four Point by Sheraton Hotel, etc are a tip of some of his achievement in office when he was the governor of Akwa Ibom State,” the Movement said.
The NDYM said it was not out of place that President Mohammadu Buhari gave Akpabio the task of manning the Niger Delta Ministry, supervising the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and repositioning the region for aggressive development.
“We therefore make bold to state that any attempt to demonize the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs in order to cause stampede and civil unrest in the Region shall be stoutly resisted,” it said.
“NDYM is aware that President Buhari and indeed the federal government means well for our region and we are also aware that the task of repositioning the Niger Delta will not be a tea party and as a result have decided to throw our weight behind the effort of Senator Godswill Akpabio in clearing the cobweb of sleaze and slime from the NDDC through Forensic Audit.”
The Movement said it would not fold our hands and watch the NDDC downward slide because it actively participated in the formation of the Commission and particularly requested for the creation of the Youth Directorate of the Commission.
It urged the NDDC Probe Committees of the National Assembly to exhibit the highest level of patriotism in handling the affairs of this magnitude irrespective of the involvement or otherwise of some of its former/current officers.
“We are convinced that the Interim Management Committee (as the name suggests) shall duly cooperate with the forensic audit team,” it said.
“It is pertinent to also seriously advise that the forensic audit team should be time conscious in doing a clinical job since the incoming board and management should not be burdened by the challenges of pursuing errant contractors whose documents may have been muddled up by a compromised system.”
“We also use this opportunity to urge that the audit team should go the extra mile in setting a template for transparent financial operations of the commission going forward.”