– Youths of three major tribes in Delta state have expressed support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration
– The youth groups said Buhari has good programmes for the Niger Delta and should be supported for the programmes to materialise
– The youth groups have also thrown their weight behind a former militant commander, Israel Akpodoro, to pilot the group in the region
After a careful analysis of the administrative direction of President Muhammadu Buhari, three big tribes in the Niger Delta region have thrown their weight behind the administrative policy and anti-corruption crusade of the Nigeria President Buhari.
Although a wide spectrum of Nigerians have criticized the programmes of Buhari, describing it as anti-people and geared towards promoting Northern agenda and hunting his political opponents, youth groups in the volatile Niger Delta have concluded that the Buhari’s policies are good and will at the end open opportunities for the youth population.
Specifically, youth groups from Ijaw, Urhobo and Itsekiri, major players in the Niger Delta struggle, gave their nod to the President’s programmes in Ughelli, Delta state, following the moves of ex-militant leader, Israel Eshanekpe Akpodoro, to harness all the youth bodies in the region for a sustainable development programmes.
Youth leaders of the three major groups who have pledged allegiance to Akpodoro at the wake of the umbrella regional youth group, Association of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators and Youth Coalition, have said that President Buhari was good and has a great mind for the Niger Delta people.
Following the acceptance of his government and administrative framework, they call on all Nigerians and especially the Niger Delta people to support his government for the good of all Nigerians.
Speaking to NAIJ.com after series of meetings in Ughelli, Ijaw leader, Ambassador Dibi Yinkore, said Ijaw youths are in support of the President’s programmes, maintaining that President Buhari’s agenda for the Niger Delta was good and should be allowed to materialize for the people of the region.
He said in the development of the region, the people must forget sentiments and seek the common good of the people of the region.
On projects for the Ijaw people, Yinkore said though the Ijaws support the president’s programmes, the federal government should do the needful for the region, noting that it should pay amnesty stipends regularly and the projects being executed by the Niger Delta Development Commission should be spread across the region.
For the maritime university at Okerenkoko, Yinkore said the government should look into the university with a view to speeding up the project and begin academic work.
Also, Godwin Utienyin, who represents Itsekiri youths on the board of the NDDC, threw his weight behind the programmes of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: “Yes, we believe in the programmes of President Muhammadu Buhari. When the government came on board, he brought changes to the country. The fact finding committee which visited the region led by Vice President Osinbajo was a good one.
“It was aimed at knowing what we really wanted and what is actually happening in the region. Go to many of our communities, jobs are awarded, but you don’t see the projects on ground.
“We want the government to monitor the projects in the region. Execution of projects in the region will bring more peace to the area.
“As citizens of Nigeria, we have to support our president. We cannot fight against our president because people voted for him.
“Definitely some will vote for him, some will vote against but immediately someone wins he becomes the president of everybody. He will work for everybody.”
In a similar vein, the groups pledged loyalty to Israel Eshanekpe Akpodoro, who is leading the umbrella youth group in the Niger Delta region under the auspices of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The three major groups including the Urhobo group, the most populous ethnic group in Delta state, vowed to work with Akpodoro under the Association of Ex-Agitators and Niger Delta Youth Coalition.
“We are part and parcel of the association being led by Akpodoro. We are keying into it to make sure the voice of the Niger Delta people is heard. We embrace the group and we are moving forward with it.
“The leader of the group is General Israel Akpodoro is from the Urhobo axis. We are supporting his leadership. He is a good man and we support his leadership of the group,” Ambassador Yinkore said.
Also, the Itsekiri youth representative in NDDC, Utienyi said: “In Delta state, we have our way of working. I have worked with so many people in different ethnic groups.
“As we work we contribute our quota to the development of our area of operation. As things come, we share them according to our quota. We have no problem.
“The Ijaw, Itsekiris and Urhobos are friends. We are always friends and we remain friends. We know our differences but it does not hinder us from doing our work. In our working together we always proffer solutions to issues of development.
“For the NDDC to have accepted Akpodoro’s proposal for an umbrella youth group and for the commission to have listened to him, that means he is a man of vision, we have no choice than to work with him. He has our blessing.
“We are on ground keeping the peace and we want it to continue. Since there is peace the government should do the needful so that these guys will not go back to the creeks.”
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