By Ebi Perekeme
Niger Delta Crusaders, under the aegis of the 21st Century Youths of Niger Delta and Agitators with Conscience (21st CYNDAC), have flayed mischief makers for reportedly embarking on smear campaign against Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
The group, in a statement on Monday by its Coordinator, Izon Ebi, said the duo of Tompolo and Akpabio deserved commendation not lampoon for averting youths’ planned hostilities and renewed agitations in the Niger Delta.
Recall that Tompolo had on May 3, 2021 given the Federal Government seven-day ultimatum to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) or contend with total shutdown of the region with renewed youths agitations and restivenes.
But not wanting the situation to snowball into serious crisis, Akpabio reached out to Tompolo and other stakeholders in the region where he (the minister) promised that the NDDC board would be inaugurated on or before end of June.
The 21st CYNDAC wondered why some mischievous stakeholders misconstrued the positions of Akpabio and Tompolo despite their noble intentions and honest desires to ensure peace and harmony in the region.
The group said: “We received with shock, the insinuations being peddled by some mischief makers in the region about the bold and noble steps taken by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, to navigate the creeks of Gbaramatu Kingdom to douse tensions and avert the plans by mischief makers to set the Niger Delta ablaze, truncate the forensic audit and inauguration of NDDC board.
“Seeing that their plan to incite the region, royal fathers, Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Tompolo and others against Akpabio has failed, the merchants of violence without shame have now resorted to peddling blackmail, falsehood and propaganda against the minister and Tompolo.
The crusaders, therefore, urged disgruntled stakeholders to allow peace reign in the Niger Delta for the sake of the people and development of the region.
The 21st CYNDAC added: “Youths in the region are jobless not because they are lazy but because there is no visionary leadership and commitment to change the ugly narratives.
“Finally, we call on Niger Deltans to disregard the falsehood against Tompolo and the Akpabio as well as the newly-appointed Chairman of the NDDC, Chief Bernard Okumagba because he is a round peg in a round hole.”