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Udom Declares War on NDDC – By Michael Ukanga Ekpo

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“We hear that NDDC is planning to open more roads, if they do that we would resist it because that would distort our development plan”.

-Gov Udom Emmanuel while fielding questions from Government House Correspondents shortly on arrival from Abuja at the Ibom International Airport.

MY TAKE;

Does the governor understands what he is talking about?

Has he seen the Niger Delta masterplan?

There have been many attempts and many plans made in the past to improve the lives of the people of the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. Sadly, each ended with very little to show for the time and resources spent. Therefore it is understandable that the people of the Niger Delta are quite disillusioned with ‘plans’ at this time. The disenchantment of the people not withstanding, it must be stated that the Niger Delta Master Plan is different in its goals, focus and approach, and will not suffer the fate of the others before it.

The Master Plan is basically conceived as a tool that the millions of people of the Niger Delta Region can use to actualize their common vision and build their future to the standard they desire. The Master Plan is designed to offer stakeholders at all levels (individual, group and community) the opportunity to participate fully in the planning and decision making process. . specifically, the coordinating consultants require the ideas and opinions of stakeholders as basis for defining focus areas for development and for producing a vivid picture of what the people want the Niger Delta region to look like within 15 years of the master plan implementation.. This implies that the input of stakeholders today is what will determine the state of affairs (both for individuals and communities) in the region tomorrow.

The Master Plan, for which satellite mapping had been completed and the resource

consultants appointed, is expected to cover the following areas:

1. Demography

2. Environment and hydrology

3. Agriculture and aquaculture (with focus on economic activities)

4. Biodiversity

5. Transport (infrastructure)

6. Rural, urban, regional planning and housing

7. Community Development

8. Governance and capacity development

9. Health

10. Small and medium enterprises

11. Water supply

12. Energy (electricity)

13. Telecommunication

14. Vocational training (with focus on employment generation)

15. Waste management and sanitation

16. Large-scale industry

17. Solid minerals

18. Tourism

19. Social welfare

20. Arts, Sports and Culture,

21. Women and Youth employment

22. Conflict prevention

23. Financial instruments and access

24. Investment promotion

NDDC also has a structure in place and will follow existing structures and demands of the people of the Niger Delta to actualize their dreams.

For instance, if my community want a road that successive govt for the past 60years has ignored, a major road that will boast economic activity in my area, after calling on successive governments to come to our aid in constructing such road to give the people access but they refused, so if we now carry our plight to NDDC and they agree to come and build a road to open up our Community, is Gov Udom saying he will resist NDDC and stop it from building such roads especially a road that is planned to pass beside his Wife’s farm in Ndot, Oruk Anam?

Let the Governor come out straight and tell us he does not want us to be emancipated from poverty and the backwardness thronging after us as a people.

Is the money to be used in opening the roads his personal money?

Tell Governor Udom Emmanuel if he dares as to stop NDDC from coming to the aid of our people in the few years our Son is at the elm of affairs in NDDC, we the youths will RESIST him even with our blood.

He has done nothing for us, his major area of concern is Awa Onna, even we his inlaw in Oruk Anam, we are dying of hunger and lacking in infrastructural development, our area is the most backward, our people are poor, many of the Governors in laws don’t know what meatpie, fried rice, salad ? looks like, they have never tasted those kind of meals because of the level of poverty in the area.

The Governor should allow our redemption from poverty, allow NDDC OPEN UP ROADS in ORUK ANAM and other parts of the State, we are tired of walking for more than 5 kilometers to get water from IFIATAN Ikot Edemudo, because we lack portable water, electricity is fantasy of luxury, we have suffered almost 20 years supporting PDP and getting nothing in return.

I remain, Michael Ukanga Asuquo Mathew Udofia Ekpo Etukudo Ankejem 1 of Afaha Obo Ikot Iton, Ndot-Ikot Okoro, Ward 4, Oruk Anam LGA.

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