Channel Your Advocacy To Tackle Peculiar Niger Delta Issues – NDDC Tasks CSO’s, Student Groups

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Channel Your Advocacy To Tackle Peculiar Niger Delta Issues – NDDC Tasks CSO’s, Student Groups

By, Uchechukwu Ugboaja

The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Mr. Nsima Ekere has urged Civil Society Organisations and Student Groups in the region to focus their advocacy on challenges peculiar to the Niger Delta region.

He made this statement through his Special Adviser Barr. Edidiong Idiong who received two outstanding Awards of Excellence and Exemplary Leadership from a coalition group from the National Assembly named ‘CONACS’ and the West African Student Union Parliament (WASUP) in his office earlier in the week.

Mr. Uchechukwu Ugboaja presenting an award to MD NDDC, received by S. A Security

The Managing Director who appreciated the recognition given to him by the two groups expressed his gratitude and also promised to continue to do his best to develop the region which is regarded as Nigeria’s ‘cash cow’ in terms of revenue generation.

In his reaction, National Coordinator of CONACS Mr. Uchechukwu Ugboaja demanded more partnership between the NDDC and CSO’s in the region to advocate for more attention to tackle the menace of drug abuse, human and child trafficking, environmental degradation and other vices.

Mr Ekere stated that most people fail to realise that the Niger Delta region has its peculiar problems, prominent amongst them is the issue of cultism which have been left out in discussions but have been a serious impediment to development and governance in the region.

In his words, “The problem of cultism in the Niger Delta is as serious as the problem of drug abuse in the Northern region because cultism as a scourge here has even affected the process of governance in itself which is supposed to hasten development.”

He also added that “Civil Society Organizations and student groups alike should take up this noble responsibility and support governments effort at sustaining the campaign against cultism which is our number one social vice in the Niger Delta,” he said.

It would be recalled that security forces have recently stepped up the campaign against cultism in Rivers State following Governor Nyesom Wike’s death sentence proposal for cultists in Rivers state, which have led to the death of notorious Niger Delta kingpin Don Waney and others.

The Special Assistant to the MD also reacted to the West African Student’s request of ensuring that the interest of the region is protected by prioritizing a Niger – Delta for Niger – Delta approach. However the representative of the MD opined that adopting such a strategy could look like encouraging Xenophobia which is being condemned in South Africa, hence the Niger Delta needs partnership with others to fully guarantee its development.

While berating the current crop of student union leaders in Nigeria whom he claimed have lost focus of the founding ideals of the struggle which is to sustain pressure on elected or appointed leaders like they did during the colonial and military era in Nigeria fighting against all forms of oppression, subjugation and other societal ills, the Mr Ekere lamented that in the current democratic dispensation the student movement appears to be collapsing in themselves.

He finally assured that the NDDC is run according to the mandate giving to it by the enabling act that set up the commission and that the current board of the NDDC led by him is poised to leave the Commission better than he met it.

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