The Oro Progressives Movement (OPM) has advised individuals and groups in the Niger Delta region to refrain from attacking the persons of President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio over the appointment of Barr Effiong Akwa as interim administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
OPM said the appointment of Akwa to oversea the NDDC was laudable and should be sustained as Oro nation has been marginalised in managerial appointment in the commission even though it accounts for about 80% of the oil revenue derived from Akwa Ibom and the Niger Delta region.
Addressing newsmen in Uyo on Thursday, National President of the group, Mr Ken Bassey said the appointment of Akwa would assuage Oro who have eight oil producing companies operating in its territory.
Bassey explained that Akwa was the most senior official in NDDC to fill the vacant position after a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had restrained Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei from functioning as the IMC of the commission.
Bassey therefore called for unity among the people of the region saying the protest by others from the region against the appointment would not foster brotherhood.
“We urge our fellow brothers in the region to forthwith desist from unwarranted attacks on the person/office of Mr President and Commander in Chief, the Honourable Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio and the interim Administrator.
“That Oro resource endowment and contribution to the nation must not be ignored. Oro accounts for not less than 80% of the derivable oil revenue of Akwa Ibom State who is equally a major oil producing state in the Niger Delta region with eight oil producing companies operating on its territory, five off shore and three onshore.
“That all verified ongoing projects within the region of the Niger Delta should be strictly monitored and consultants/contractors should be empowered to move to their respective sites forthwith.
“That youths in respective communities of the Niger Delta region should be duly integrated into the various programme and projects as this will mark one of the best strategies in curbing illegal distortion of projects and unlawful chasing away of contractors.” He stated.