The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr Nsima Ekere, has charged youth leaders and ex-agitators to continue to sustain the existing peace and security in the Niger Delta region.
Ekere gave the advice during a meeting with ex-agitators under the auspices of the Environmental Rights Advocates for Niger Delta. He urged them to support the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari by ensuring a peaceful environment for development.
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer thanked the ex-agitators for the way they were managing the youths which made it possible for peace to reign in the region. He said: “Today, the youths of the region are more tolerant and are willing to be engaged in discussions rather than resort to violent agitations. They are also consulting more with the leadership of the country and agencies of development. They are no longer taking the laws into their hands.”
Ekere noted that the peaceful atmosphere had made it possible for a reduction in the level of violence, leading to a remarkable rise in oil-production figures, adding that pipeline vandalism had reduced and generally there was peace all over the region.
He appealed to the youth leaders to continue to promote peace, especially at this critical stage in the life of the nation.
Ekere said: “We are at the verge of electioneering campaigns for the 2019 general elections. I want to appeal that the youths will continue to uphold peace. Don’t allow yourselves to be used for electoral violence because if they use you today, tomorrow they will forget you.”
The NDDC boss stated that the country needed a peaceful environment to continue to progress, noting that politics and elections come and go but people still needed to live their lives. He thanked the youth leaders for supporting the Federal Government by promoting peace.
Ekere said that President Buhari had done well for the country, having shown passion for the development of the Niger Delta region. He also acknowledged the good work of the Buhari administration in reviving the economy after it went into recession.
Earlier, the President of Environmental Rights Advocates for Niger Delta, Pastor Reuben Wilson, commended the Federal Government for sustaining the amnesty programme. He confessed that the ex-agitators were initially afraid that the programme would be scrapped when President Buhari took over.
He declared: “We are glad that the Presidential Amnesty Programme is still alive and functioning very well. We are grateful that the stipends for the amnesty beneficiaries are released promptly at the end of every month.
“We also thank the President for ensuring the release of funds to the NDDC for the development of the Niger Delta region. We equally commend the NDDC Managing Director for efficiently applying the resources available to the Commission for the rapid development of the region.”