Niger Delta youths give Wike seven days to reopen NDDC office
Chukwudi Akasike and Patrick Odey
Niger Delta youths have issued a seven-day ultimatum to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State to reopen the corporate headquarters of the Niger Delta Development Commission or risk an economic crippling protest in the state.
The youths, under the aegis of the Consolidated Youths of Niger Delta and led by its National Coordinator, Frank Naday, on Thursday during a news conference in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, alleged that the office was sealed about a week ago over non-remittance of revenues due to the government of Rivers State.
“From our findings and the information made available to us, it is clear that the commission has paid the backlog of revenues it owes the Rivers State Government.
“We want to ask Rivers State Government to, as a matter of urgency, re-open the commission’s office complex to enable workers to gain access to their various offices.
“Niger Delta Development Commission is bigger than Rivers State because it covers the Niger Delta region and not Rivers State alone.
“We are aware that the Rivers State Government is trying hard to play politics with the commission because it feels threatened that the Prof. Nelson Brambaifa-led administration at the NDDC is doing tremendously well,” Naday said.
He condemned the attitude of the governor, which he said was aimed at frustrating the efforts of the youths and appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene.
Reacting, the Chairman of the Rivers State Internal Revenue Service, Adoage Norteh, explained that the matter on the ground had nothing to do with politics.
Norteh said, “Tax matters have nothing to do with politics. As far as I am concerned, the governor has nothing to do with the sealing of the NDDC headquarters. The governor never told me to go there. It was the court that said I should lock it; and if the court says I should open it, it will be reopened.
“I never asked him (governor) where or when not to go. I challenge NDDC to show one fact that it has undergone any successful audit. If the NDDC are playing politics with the matter, it is their headache, because I don’t belong to any political party.”