—You have exhibited good leadership, maturity and democratic values – Ex-President Jonathan
By Ebi Kemelayefa
The newly appointed Executive Director, Finance and Administration in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Maxwell Okoh has assured that the agency would experience a new life under him.
It was noted that Okoh said he would make sure that the original master plan of the NDDC was exhumed. This was coming just after former President Goodluck Jonathan congratulated him on his new position and with optimism that Okoh would do better.
According to Oko, “We were actively involved in the struggle for a better deal for the people of the Niger Delta. That was how the NDDC came. But unfortunately, the region has not seen the kind of development that the founding fathers envisaged.
“We believe that things will change for good in the NDDC.
“I do not know what the place looks like for now since we are yet to resume work. But what I can say is that things will no longer remain the same there. We will do our best to turn things around.”
For former President Jonathan in a congratulatory letter he personally signed, he expressed the philosophy that Okoh will do well as the EDFA of NDDC.
According to Jonathan, “Over the years, you have exhibited good leadership, maturity and democratic values in the positions of authority you have held in Bayelsa State.
“Your appointment is well deserved as it shows your tenacity and the trust Mr. President has placed in you. I am convinced that you will not disappoint your people.
“I am also confident that you will excel and ensure peace, prosperity and enhanced infrastructural development to the entire Niger Delta region.”
According to analysts, “Okoh, a former Niger Delta activist, was the chairman of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), in the central zone at a time the IYC launched the famous Kaiama Declaration and pressed for the development of the region.
“He was also at the forefront of the struggle for the emancipation of the Niger Delta before he assumed office as the Commissioner for Youths during the administration of Timipre Sylva in Bayelsa State.
“A few days after his appointment into the NDDC, Okoh had undertaken a visit to critical stakeholders in the region and spoke of his willingness to do things differently in the commission.
“Among the Ijaw stakeholders he has so far visited are former Dr. Goodluck Jonathan; a former President of the Ijaw National Congress, Chief Joshua Fumudoh and, Senator Emmanuel Difa.
“During his meeting with Fumudoh, Okoh lamented the decay in the region decades after the commission was established to address its developmental challenges.”
"Any faceless individual coming to create more anarchy in our region should desist and embrace peace, as we will not allow saboteurs to instigate unruly act here. We are ready to partner with the security forces to maintain peace in the Niger Delta"