The Sole Administrator, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Effiong Akwa, has made a crucial appointment to douse the tension caused by his new position in the commission.
Akwa at the weekend appointed a former President, Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide, Udengs Eradiri, as his Special Adviser on Youths, a highly priced position in the commission.
The appointment of Eradiri, who was a former Commissioner for Youths and later Environment in Bayelsa State during the administration of Seriake Dickson, was said to have calmed frayed nerves especially among a section of the Ijaw ethnic nationality.
A section of the IYC mainly from Bayelsa protested against the appointment of a sole administrator for NDDC and threatened to shut down the commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
But the naming of Eradiri, who hails from Bayelsa as the Special Adviser on youths to Akwa, attracted commendations from Ijaw leaders, described it as masterstroke.
The Ijaw traditional religious body, the Sacred Order of Egbesu Brotherhood applauded President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister, Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and Akwa for considering Eradiri for the appointment.
The body in a statement signed by its Coordinator, Bodmas Kemepadei, described the appointment as timely adding that the choice of Eradiri cut across party lines.
Bodmas said the appointment raised the confidence of Niger Delta youths to the visions of the Buhari’s administration for youths’ empowerment in the region.
Bodmas extolled the qualities of Udengs, describing him as a peace ambassador, with skills and experience to build bridges to unify youths of the region.
Bodmas also hailed Akpabio and Akwa for supporting the choice of Eradiri and called on youths of the region to work with the new SA to actualise the mandates of the commission.
Bodmas, however, asked the current management to expedite action on the forensic audit of the commission to allow the inauguration of a board in line with the Act establishing the commission.
He said: “The leadership of the Egbesu brotherhood celebrates with Engr. Udengs Eradiri on his new feat, it is our conviction that Udengs has once again been presented with an opportunity to continue his good work to advocate, speak for youths of the region, and build bridges of unity, this should be a call to service
” We equally salute President muhammadu Buhari whom we are aware has made this appointment possible. The region is grateful for the choice of Udengs who cuts across all party lines
” It is in same vain that we appreciate the minister of Niger delta affairs, Hon. Godswill Akpabio and Mr. Effiong Akwa for their supportive role in the emergence of Udengs who has also been a pillar of support during our days of trial
“We call on youths of the Niger Delta to support Udengs, we call for unity of purpose and once again express our satisfaction with the appointment of Udengs”.
Also the IYC Central Zone and the Western Zone in separate statements congratulated Eradiri on his appointment and expressed confidence in his capacity to unite the youths of the region.
The Information Officer, Central Zone, Dee Mitin, however, asked Eradiri to keep faith with the agitation for inauguration of a substantive board.
Addressing Eradiri, Mitin said: “Your appointment didn’t come as a surprise to us knowing fully well of your leadership prowess and how grounded you’re in terms of leadership.
“You’ve been a man with vision and someone who can get things done, we urge you to ensure you use your appointment to always protect the growth and the collective interest of the Niger Delta”.
In his remarks, the Information Officer, Weatern Zone, Awipi Lawson, described the appointment as well-deserved.
He said: “We are aware that leadership skills, enthusiasm and hardwork is already part of you. You deserve the appointment”.