Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, the Vice-presidential candidate for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 presidential elections has said that the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, will ensure an efficient running of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
This was made known on Sunday, December 11, by Okowa at the Channels Television presidential townhall series while he was addressing questions on the possibility of militancy returning to the Niger Delta region.
NDDC to work for host communities: Okowa, who is the current Governor of Delta state, said an efficient NDDC will be beneficial to the people in oil and gas host communities. According to him, the NDDC will work for the good of the people, providing them with infrastructure, educational facilities and other opportunities.
He went further to state that the host community fund provided for under the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) will be given priority by the Atiku-led administration come 2023.
- He said: “When all these are provided and the people can see them, militancy cannot make a comeback. When we came into government in Delta state in 2015, it was very tough for us, but after two years when we started engaging the people a providing infrastructure in the various communities in the creeks, which the people had thought they could never get, the people realized that the best thing for them was to embrace and work together with the government to develop those communities.”
A few insights on Niger Delta militancy: Between 2004 to 2017, militancy in the Niger Delta region was rife due to consistent neglect of communities that play host to Nigeria’s oil and gas assets. Due to the violence, the militancy activities caused, a presidential amnesty programme was introduced to offer payments and opportunities to former militants.
- According to a non-profit organization, Stakeholder Democracy, 20% of households in the Niger Delta between 2010-2017 were affected by conflict—with 1 of 20 households, experiencing bereavement due to conflict over that period.
- Stakeholder Democracy also notes that although there is a relief from militancy, there is still everyday insecurity within areas of the Niger Delta, where cultism, piracy, corrupt security personnel, and destabilizing economic activities are rife.
In case you missed it: In November 2022, President Buhari wrote a letter to the Senate, seeking the confirmation of Lauretta Onochie, his special assistant on new media, as the substantive chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Leave a Reply