A coalition of Niger Delta groups has lauded the Interim Management Committee, IMC, of the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC, led by Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, over its commitment in cushioning the effects of the lockdown of states on Niger Delta people.
In a statement in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, they commended the efforts of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio under whose supervision the IMC has ‘displayed swift support in alleviating the sufferings of the Niger Delta people especially with the lockdown directive issued to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19.
The statement jointly signed by its conveners, Comr. Emmanuel Biebara, President, Ogoni Movement for No Violence, Amb. Joe Jack, Coordinator, Niger Delta Youth Movement, Akwa Ibom Chapter, and Comr. Terry Obieh, President, Urhobo Youth Council, they noted that the IMC had exceeded expectations especially in the area of providing support in the fight against COVID – 19.
“Besides the release of grants to the nine states of the Niger Delta region, the IMC, sympathetic to the plight of Niger Delta people have also reached out with palliatives in the form of cash and food items to the youths and widows of the region.
“On this score, we appreciate the efforts of the IMC which through the Special Assistant to the Acting MD on Youth Development, Amb. Alfred Etuk reached out to over 3,000 youths as well as about 150 widows of the region with palliatives ranging from cash to food items.”
They appealed to all stakeholders of the region to support the initiatives of the IMC, adding:
“The trend of spreading lies and propaganda against the IMC is unpatriotic, selfish, distracting and contrary to good conscience.
“We must also state that most of those attacking the COVID-19 reach out initiative by the IMC are those capable of even supporting the efforts of the IMC in their personal capacity. We also have it on good authority that the programme was strictly for the poor and indigent persons in the region.
“We therefore commend the IMC for adopting a different approach in directly reaching out to these persons.
It could be recalled that the NDDC said it had committed over one billion naira to assist the nine states in the Niger Delta region in the fight against the Coronavirus disease, COVID-19.
The NDDC boss declared that the interventionist agency made available N775 million to support the nine states under its mandate and released another N270 million to fast-track the establishment of isolation centres in the 27 senatorial districts across the region.