MEND threatens showdown with Akpabio over deployment letters

The Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) on Tuesday threatened a showdown with the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and the management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over the plight of some youths allegedly employed by the commission over 17 months ago.

MEND in an electronic statement by its spokesman, ‘General’ Gbomo Jommo, said it was curious and incomprehensible that the duly employed and documented staff from the Niger Delta were not issued their deployment letters since August 2019.

The militant group alleged that the wicked antics were being perpetrated by some highly placed individuals in the Niger Delta region and that of the management of the NDDC to shortchange and marginalise the merited employees of the commission.

The group, therefore, issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, and the Sole Administrator of the NDDC, Mr. Effiong Akwa, with effect from January 18, 2021, to release to the affected Niger Delta youths their deployment letters for immediate resumption of duty.

It said: “Our investigations reveal that the refusal to release the said deployment letters is because some persons have resolved to substitute this indigent but fortunate Niger Delta youths with their children, wards, girlfriends and as gifts for political favours.

“We also have it on good authority that instead of issuing deployment letters to these validly recruited staff; the NDDC management went ahead to embark on fresh contract staff recruitment despite the subsisting approval of President Muhammadu Buhari in respect of the earlier completed recruitment.

“We are assuring the NDDC that we have the list of the authentic persons, and for every change to that list, an oil pipeline would go up in flames.

“Any failure by the management of the NDDC or the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to heed these demands in whatever guise or excuse is sure to incur the wrath of MEND and angry youths across the region. The Nigerian state is sure to feel the full weight of passion to protect the cause of defenceless Niger Delta youths.

“The MEND, at this point, is keeping a keen eye on the activities of the NDDC like never before. And we are sure that those with the requisite pecuniary interests will ask the commission to test our resolve. Seven days is our ultimatum to the NDDC management and Godswill Akpabio to do the needful. We call on the Presidency to hold the NDDC leadership accountable for our actions, as the creeks would not only boil, but very critical oil and gas infrastructure are sure to go up in flames.”