Scrap NDDC, Niger Delta ministry, DESOPADEC now, Okotie-Eboh tells FG


A prominent Itsekiri leader and farmer in Delta State, Mr. Emmanuel Okotie- Eboh, has called for the scrapping of the Niger Delta Development Commission, the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission.
Okotie-Eboh argued that the three agencies have outlived their usefulness and have also failed to live up to the expectations of the people of Niger Delta.
The Itsekiri leader stated that the NDDC, Niger Delta ministry and DESOPADEC have failed to achieve the aims for which they were established.
He said this against the backdrop of renewed militants’ activities in the Niger Delta region while speaking with our correspondent in Warri.
The son of the first Nigerian minister of finance, Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh, blamed the current violent agitation in the region on the failure of government to develop the region.
He therefore stressed that the only way peace could be restored to the region was for the Federal Government to scrap all the three agencies and set up new ones that would represent all the ethnic nationalities in the region.
According to him, the decentralization of NDDC and DESOPADEC would give the people more peace in the troubled Niger Delta region.
He said, “To me, these developmental agencies such as NDDC, DESOPADEC and even the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs have failed all of us and I am calling for their total overhaul to meet the expectations of the people.
“All their actions have shown that they have failed the people. Government may not necessarily scrap them but they should be reorganized in such a way that their impact would be felt by the people unlike what we have at the moment.”
Okotie-Eboh advised the people of the region to only speak with one voice on issues affecting the region, saying that the region would not make any headway if the people continued to fight one another.
“We should all put religion, party politics and tribes in the Niger Delta aside and make a common presentation for once so that the world can take us seriously. Why do we have People go into partnership? It is because partnership works because it allows you to bring in different ideas. Club sides are always stronger than that of country’s team because you have a large house to pick the best legs that can do the job. That applies to every operation in life.
“There are too many groups in the Niger Delta and President Muhammadu Buhari cannot talk to every group.
The Niger Delta Avengers started these renewed hostilities because of the perceived neglect of the region and so they should form the rallying point for the dialogue. Then each tribe coming should be guided by traditional fathers, religious leaders and leaders. We should leave the politicians out of this because they are spoilers and undertakers”.
“The way we are going today in the Niger Delta , the blinds wants to lead us across the high traffic road and that is very dangerous; too many leaders in Niger Delta today . I appeal to them to wait for their turn,” he said.
The Itsekiri leader also called for the convocation of a Niger Delta Conference where representatives of all the ethnic groups in the region would deliberate on the various issues affecting the region and reach a consensus on them before going into discussions with the Federal Government.
He advocated that each ethnic group in the region should have particular individuals they could hold responsible for lack of development in their area.
“Who can you hold responsible for the lack of development in Delta State? Who can you hold for lack of development in Isoko, Ijaw, Itsekiri, and other areas in NDDC? We know ourselves and we know what we want. If we have somebody that we can identify and hold responsible for not developing our area, all these crises in the region will stop,” Okotie-Eboh said.