Yenagoa—Ijaw youths under the umbrella of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) have raised an alarm over the alleged power tussle at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) said to be instigated by the board’s chairperson, Mrs. Lauretta Onuchie against the management of the commission.
The youths claimed that the issue has led to the temporary stoppage of activities in the commission.
According to the IYC, the in-house power clash is a clear attempt to subvert the functions of the MD/CEO and other Executive members of the commission’s management board, Mrs. Lauretta Onochie
In a statement signed by the IYC spokesman, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, the apex Ijaw youth body insisted that the “rebel act” is well orchestrated and launched against the management of the commission by Onochie.
According to the IYC, the power tussle is “causing a lull in the effectiveness and optimal performance of the NDDC, especially under the present board where a member of the board seems to confuse her office and seeks unlimited powers beyond the comprehension and intent of the drafters of the establishment Act.
“It should be known by the people of the Niger Delta region that the expected workings of the NDDC board are being impeded by Lauretta Onochie by reportedly taking it upon herself to destroy a serious legacy of the Niger Delta struggle for self-determination that Ijaw people suffered and died for.
“According to reports at our disposal, she now wants to play god in the affairs of the Commission by attempting to amass for herself the powers, functions and roles of all executives of the Commission, Mrs. Lauretta as nominal Chairperson is now hungry for the functions of the MD/CEO, the Executive Director Finance & Administration, the Executive Director Projects, in fact, she has indeed been delusional to believe herself as the sole administrator of the NDDC.”
The IYC further said it has impeccable evidence that suggests that Onochie is deliberately towing a path that puts her on a collision course with all organs of the IYC and other pro-Ijaw agitation groups.
The statement further reads “The IYC despite the provocative stance of the embattled chairperson of the NDDC board is restating its stand for equality and justice for all, and would not watch one ethnic group or state try to outsmart or subjugate another within the region.
“And so would not treat with kids glove anyone who wishes to marginalize the Ijaw interest or oppress an Ijaw man.
“By virtue of the NDDC Act 2000, it is rightfully the turn of Bayelsa state to produce the MD/CEO of the Commission which the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government agreed to after concerted efforts of the IYC and INC.
“Therefore no Ijaw son or daughter would idle away while one lady that calls herself palace girl of the Aso Villa, who has never contributed a dime or an idea for the development of the Niger Delta, tries to insult our sacred homeland and disrespect our illustrious son.
“What Lauretta is doing and working so hard to achieve has never before been reported since the inception of the NDDC and has been calculated by this mole and her backers to spite Ijaw people and Bayelsans in particular.
“Lauretta is attempting to start a new trend in the Niger Delta, and thank God she and her co-travelers would utterly fail because we Ijaws and the IYC would use every means at our disposal to ensure she not only fails but also that no one would try this nonsense again at the Commission in subsequent times.
“We would employ both legal means and all other means we have become notorious for over the years to ensure her abysmal failure.”
The youth body called on well-meaning persons within the presidency to call Onochie to order, adding that her actions if left unchecked are capable of causing disaffection amongst people of the region “at a time, we ought to be working together to achieve common goals.”
The IYC also expressed concern over the early warnings of conflict among members of the newly inaugurated NDDC board over the alleged overbearing attitude of Onochie.
The statement however called on the NDDC management to remain focused and not allow selfish and inordinate interests to distract them from working according to the mandate handed them by President Buhari.