Group known as Edo Restoration Movement has issued a 72-hour ultimatum to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to resign over what it tagged marginalisation of Edo State in the running of the NDDC.
The group which protested the alleged marginalisation on Friday in Benin closed down the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) office in Benin City for operation.
The group which protested at the MM Way office of the commission in Benin City, carried placards with different inscriptions such as “IMC is illegal in NDDC Act”; We are giving Akpabio 72 hours to resign”; Let Akpabio hand off the management of NDDC”; NDDC stop marginalizing Edo State”; “Constitute NDDC Board now” among others.
Speaking, Secretary-General of the group, Comrade Ben Bowei said the they decided to take over the NDDC office in Benin because of marginalisation of Edo State by NDDC.
While stating that the marginalisation must stop, he emphasised that putting in place Sole Adminstration to run affairs of the NDDC should stop and that a legally constituted board should take over the management of the commission.
“We are here to take over the NDDC office, because Edo State has been marginalised by the NDDC and this must not be allowed to continue. We are here to put a stop to this injustice, We are part of the Niger Delta. Edo State is the 5th oil producing state and the 3rd largest producer of gas in Nigeria.
“What about the board? Till now, Edo State has not produced the Chairman nor Managing Director of the board. Edo should be considered for the position of the MD of the board.
“Recently, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs went round the Niger Delta, but he did not come to Edo State. We are giving Godswill Akpabio 72 hours to visit Edo and talk to us or resign, if he fails to resign we will shut the East- West Road,” He said.
Also, speaking the Publicity Officer of the group, Arc Thaddeus Irabor said, the group was there to send a signal to the authority on what they will do if their plights are not addressed,
“We are here to send a signal, we are giving Akpabio 72 hours ultimatum to resign, so that a legally constituted board can take over the management of the NDDC. The peace loving people of Edo State have been taken for granted.
“We want him to resign, not because we have any thing personal against him, but because Edo has been marginalised. We want to say that we can bite and even crack the bone; We will not only shut the East-West Road, we will shut all oil installations in Edo State. We are calling on Akpabio to stop using the NDDC fund for his personal use,” he said.