The Supreme traditional ruler of the Ibibios and Chairman, Akwa Ibom Council of Chiefs, His Eminence, Ntenyin Solomon Daniel Etuk has backed the appointment of Barr. Effiong Okon Akwa as interim administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). Ibibio is the 4th national ethnic group in Nigeria and largest in the Niger Delta region.

The monarch via a statement issued on behalf of traditional rulers under his jurisdiction was reacting to agitations in some parts of the Niger Delta calling for the sack of the Akwa Ibom son.

He said the agitators who have since vowed to resort to violence, were fanning the embers of disunity and insecurity.

He noted that “it is quite worrisome to observe the uncharitable display of distrust, wrangling and throwing of brickbats against the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, in appointing an Interim Administrator for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in the person of Barr. Effiong Okon Akwa”, and described the issue as “an exhibition of bad faith, brazenly displayed against a fellow Niger Deltan from Akwa Ibom State.”

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Ntenyin Etuk who further labeled the issue as illogical, selfish and uncalled for, passed a vote-of-confidence on Barr. Akwa, saying he “possesses cognate experience backed with academic, administrative, managerial and professional expertise to deliver on the mandate set by the Presidency before a substantive board is constituted.”

“As traditional fathers, we are concerned, hence our decision to rise to the occasion and advise our agitated youths and groups in the Niger Delta to be mindful of our region’s corporate interests and welfare by allowing the thread of brotherhood to permeate,” he advised.

Ntenyin Etuk also advised that “harbouring a sense of entitlement in the region by some sections against others in the Niger Delta should be jettisoned as it is capable of undermining and threatening the unity, security and development of our depraved region despite being the nation’s bastion of oil and gas wealth.”

Traditional rulers and religious leaders were urged to counsel the youths and political leaders against heating up the polity.

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An appeal was made to the Federal Government through the Ministry of Niger Delta Development Commission to complete the East West Road, effect the construction of the Calabar-Itu-Ikot Ekpene Highway, the Ogoni Clean-Up Exercise, the railway project for Niger Delta region and other key projects earmarked to accelerate development in the region.

(C) Ofonime Honesty