Over 2,000 youths and elders on Friday staged a public procession in Yenagoa,the Bayelsa State capital to call on President Muhammad Buhari to confirm the acting managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Professor Nelson Branbaifa, as substantive managing director of the commission.
The Bayelsa youths, women and elders, who took a kilometer walk to the Yenagoa office of the NDDC, said despite the campaign of calnumy against the NDDC management, the commission under Professor Nelson Branbaifa has remained focussed on its mission to actualise the vision of President Muhammad Buhari in the Niger Delta.
The crowd of Bayelsa youths,women and elders were armed with placards with inscription such as ‘President Buhari please confirm professor Nelson Brambaifa as the MD of the NDDC board’, ‘Let professor Brambaifa continue as MD of NDDC’, ‘Bayelsans are solidly behind you as MD of NDDC, ‘The only person we want is Brambaifa as MD NDDC’ and ‘NDDc board is secured with professor Brambaifa’.
Addressing the Bayelsa coordinator of the NDDC, Francis Kolokolo, the representative of the Bayelsa elders and forrmer chief security to Bayelsa state government, Chief Perekeme Kpodoh, said NDDC has come of age and established to develop Niger Delta,’ but we have seen that since the inception we don’t have development and today we have a son from Bayelsa , who is professor Nelson Brambaifa, four months only,he has change the tide’.
‘There are roads everywhere. We have over one hundred and something roads in Bayelsa, Delta ,Rivers states. The fact is that Brambaifa from Bayelsa has come to ensure that these roads are put in good and motorable conditions. There is nobody from anywhere that can stop the planned development.
“All those gimmicks they are doing outside Bayelsa are for selfish interest, not for the interest of Bayelsans or the Niger Delta. So, we say we need Brambaifa to be confirmed and to continue so we can have the dividends of democracy’.
‘This is not party issue, we are talking about our development, look at our youths, since NDDC was created there is nothing to show off but it is time to take the bull by the horn, let Brambaifa continue to actualise the President Buhari dream for the region’.
‘We thank Mr president and we also congratulate him for his re-election and we believe God will give Mr president the grace and the wisdom to pilot this country but let him also know that those people that are running round Abuja are even owing NDDC, most of them were given jobs to exexute but they refuse to do it and now today , four months only we are exercising Brambaifa enough of this is enough’.
Also speaking, the President Attisa Youth Council, Comrade Richard Giani, commended President Buhari and the former governor of the state,Chief Timipre Sylva for the victory of the party at the last presidential election, second term for his re-election.
He also noted that the calk for the confirmation of Professor Nelson Branbaifa is based on his performance in office for the last four months,
“My point here is very simple, for four months now that Brambaifa has been the acting MD of NDDC, we can see the giants strides , roads are everywhere, even the waterways are calm, he is tackling security issues. What his predecessors couldn’t do, he did it. In terms of the Niger Delta Volunteer Scheme, some persons were paid one month salary for Niger Delta Volunteer Scheme, so it is highly commendable, so we are calling on Mr president Muhammadu Buhari to use his good office to make Nelson Brambaifa the substantive NDDC MD’.
On his part, a one time Chairman of the Central Zone of the Ijaw Youths Council, Comrade Jonathan Lokpobiri, noted that the peace of the region is paramount to the sustainability of this country economically, ‘ and because here we have a man now who is determined to address all the major issues with his people and so I call on every ijaw man, ijaw woman, Niger Delta to queue behind this man so that the president can confirm him as the MD of NDDC, so that he can have the opportunity to write the wrongs in the Niger Delta so we can change our narrative for the better.’
‘We are now using this platform to send a message through the coordinator of the NDDC to the federal government that the confirmation of professor Brambaifa is in the right direction and the best interest of our region, there is no politics in this, we do believe that Brambaifa can work with almost everybody in the Niger Delta region, so I do believe that given the opportunity for him to be confirmed as the MD of NDDC, can only improve the well being and the life styles of the Niger Delta people and I can assure you that peace will improve.’
Earlier in his speech, the Bayelsa Coordinator of the NDDC, Hon. Francis Kolokolo, NDDC Coordinator ; Francis Kolokolo, commended the Youths,women and Elders for conducting themselves in a peaceful manner, ‘I think you have proven yourself to take the destiny in your hand and I belive that today here as youth i don’t feel that we are not qualified to agitate for our right.’
‘If you have come out in your number to pledge for the NDDC, I think that is the right step to the right direction and I want to thank you once again for your mobilisation because the crowd of people am seeing here ,the NDDC will not disappoint you’ .
‘NDDC youth development programme, the next phase will be paid as soon as possible and for the water hyacinth jobs is meant for the youth, we will not allow elders or so called leaders to hijack the water hyacinth again’.
‘Brambaifa has decided to deal with the youths directly, that is why they are fighting him and we will not allow it, today you have stamped your right, it is been acknowledged by the NDDC management led by professor Brambaifa.’