Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, has urged protesting youths in the Niger Delta region to suspend their action and embrace sustainable peace.
The minister, who stated this while addressing representatives of Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, in Abuja on Wednesday, expressed fears that the protest if allowed to continue, might be hijacked by hoodlums to cause havoc.
Akpabio remarked that the Niger Delta, which has been one of the most peaceful regions in the country, should not allow itself to be plunged into crisis, promising that the issues tabled by the youths from the region will be addressed.
He said a board for the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, will be constituted after the forensic audit ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Akpabio recalled that the audit exercise was to be completed within six months. But he regretted that the exercise was extended by three months due to the difficult nature of the job.
He disclosed that the auditors have already submitted two interim reports to the president, adding that by July, the auditors are expected to submit their final report to pave way for the inauguration of the board.
Responding on behalf of IYC, its National Spokesperson, Ebilade Ekerefe appealed to the Federal Government and security agencies to rescue the President of the council, Igbifa, who was adopted on his way to Abuja on Tuesday morning.
Ekerefa noted that the Igbifa was on his way to Abuja to lead the council to the discussion with the Minister of Niger Delta when the unfortunate incident took place.
He further called on their protesting members in the region to remain calm and peaceful because the issue of the constitution of the board of NDDC which ignited the protest is being addressed by the federal government through the Niger Delta ministry.
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