Akwa Ibom Youths Shun NDDC-Sponsored Protest
…Accuse Nsima Ekere Of Igniting Tension And Hatred
Efforts by the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Nsima Ekere, to mobilize youths in the state on a protest against Governor Udom Emmanuel over the proposed N1.2 billion Akwa Ibom lodge in Lagos, has been dealt a huge blow; as he has been accused of inciting hatred to generate tension in the state.
Ekere’s camp is reported to have received the shock of their lives when several youth groups refused the five hundred thousand Naira he made available for each of the groups, pointing that the governor has in the last 2 years performed creditably well.
The visibly angry NDDC boss according to an insider source is reported to have been very biter with an Akwa Ibom born Lagos based lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, who is alleged to have swindled him of 20 million Naira with the assurance of exploiting his social media popularity to mobilize for the said protest.
According to the source, Ekere who expressed dissatisfaction with one of the presidential aides from the state who introduced him to Effiong, expressed concerns at the growing popularity of Governor Emmanuel among people of the state and called for refunds of the amount paid as mobilization to get the job done.
Trouble started when members of Akwa Ibom Community in Lagos turned down the offer by the presidential aide to hire them for the said job, insisting that he should mobilize his family members for the assignment, as they had nothing against the governor who has done well to provide leadership in the state.
Woes for proponents of the Anti-Udom rally got worsened when leaders of youth groups in the state including the Akwa Ibom State Youth Caucus, Youth Council, Village Youth Presidents, Dakkada Youths and several volunteer youth groups fixed same date for a Pro-Udom rally in support of the governor’s strides in the state that has seen Akwa Ibom emerge as a lead investment destination in the country.
The youth leaders in their separate remarks queried how Ekere and co-travelers could be so unpatriotic as to seek to cause disharmony in the state because of political interest, querying his good intentions for them when he is yet to come clean on accusation of pocketing the 2016 Christmas package for youths of the state from the NDDC.
Details for the youth rally in support of the governor, as released by the Coalition of youth leaders in the State has it that over ten thousand youths will converge on Ibom Hall grounds and process round major streets in the city in the morning of Friday 11 August.
The solidarity march, like last year’s episode is billed to terminate at the Government House Gates, where they are expected to be addressed by the Governor on plans to further move the state forward.
It would be recalled that the Akwa Ibom State Government recently came out to describe as evil propaganda the claim that it budgeted N9.1 billion for the Lagos governor’s lodge, saying N1.2 billion was budgeted for the project, which is intended to give the state an appreciable corporate image in the nation’s commercial capital.