By Asolo Eyedoude
Ijaw Youths from the Nine States of the Niger Delta region have faulted as a ‘misplaced priority’ the order issued by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, to the acting Management of the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC for the payment of water hyacinth projects in the region.
According to the Ijaw Youths, under the aegis of the Movement for the Survival of the Ijaw Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta MOSIEND, though the quick payment order on completed projects is commendable, the order for quick payment of water hyacinth jobs has raised suspicions whether he (Akpabio) has an interest in the N1.9 billion water hyacinth fund.
The National Secretary of MOSIEND, Ambassador Winston Cotterel Amain in a statement issued in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, condemned the order dished out by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, for NDDC to pay a whooping sum of N1.9 billion naira as water hyacinth projects in the region.
According to the statement, ‘the Water Hyacinth projects of the NDDC, have for long, served as a conduit pipe through which top officials of the board and their cronies enrich themselves.’
Ambassador Amain warned that Godswill Akpabio should focus on more meaningful endeavours that are centered on the development of the region especially the completion of the East-West road, rather than meddling into NDDC’s affairs.
The MOSIEND scribe asserted that the Water Hyacinth project of the board has for long served as a conduit pipe through which top officials of the board and their cronies enriched themselves.
Ambassador Amain expressed dissatisfaction over the order issued by the Minister, which has raised suspicions whether he (Akpabio) has an interest in 1.9billion naira water hyacinth fund or he is now interested in becoming the Minister for the NDDC.
He urged the acting Managing Director of NDDC, Dr. Enyia Akwagaga to resist all forms of intimidation and follow due process in discharge of her duties, noting that the beneficiaries of the water hyacinth payments are mainly ghosts, non-existent and largely fictitious.
The Niger Delta advocate, called on Chief Godswill Akpabio to be willing to work assiduously in bringing the needed development to the region or should as well be redeployed to another ministry, just as his former counterpart, Festus Keyamo was.