A coalition of Niger Delta women, under the aegis of the Wailing Women of Niger Delta (WWND) have protested the non-inauguration of a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Clad in black attire with various placards, the protesters barricaded the corporate headquarters of the NDDC in Port Harcourt, Rivers State calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore the antics of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and inaugurate the substantive board of the commission.
In Port Harcourt, motorists had a hectic time navigating the Marine Road, as the women, who also carried banners singing sorrowful songs in solidarity, disrupted traffic for hours.
On the banners were boldly written, “Niger Delta Women insist on a board for NDDC”, “Enough of illegal Sole Administrator”, while some placards contained messages like “80% of our women are vulnerable due to negligence”, among others.
The women, who wore mourning faces, sat on the ground, blocking the main entrance of the headquarters, lamenting that Akpabio had arrogated his personal ambition above the collective interests of the Niger Delta.
The women, who also requested the publication of the audit report, demanded slots to be allocated to women in the coming board of the commission.
The Coordinator, WWND, Adinenbo Odighonin, said the only thing that would assuage them and guarantee peace in the region was the immediate inauguration of the NDDC board.
She said: “What we want is simple. We want the illegal sole administration to be dissolved.
In separate reactions, the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), the Itsekiri Liberation Group (ILG), the Southsouth Youths Initiative (SSYI) and the Ijaw Interest Advocates (IIA) slammed Akpabio’s recent comments that a new term of reference for NDDC was the reason behind the delay.