By Aniefiok Akam
The Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Effiong Akwa, has appointed a former President, Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide, Udengs Eradiri, as his Special Adviser on Youths.
It was gathered that Eradiri’s appointment is parts of step being taken by the NDDC boss to douse growing protests against his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Eradiri, a former IYC leader, was also a former commissioner for Youths and later Environment in Bayelsa State during the administration of Seriake Dickson.
The appointment is expected to calm frayed nerves especially among a section of the Ijaw ethnic nationality.
NIGER DELTA TODAY (NDT) Online had recently reported different protests by a section of the IYC mainly from Bayelsa against the appointment of a sole administrator for NDDC and threatened to shut down the commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
However, Eradiri’s appointment has attracted commendations from Ijaw leaders, describing the development as a masterstroke that will put an end to opposition against Akwa’s appointment as NDDC Sole Administrator.
The Ijaw traditional religious body, the Sacred Order of Egbesu Brotherhood, has applauded President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and Akwa for considering Eradiri for the appointment.
The body in a statement signed by itts 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.
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 vein 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.”
Similarly, 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.
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”.