Repentant Niger Delta militants under the aegis of Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative have declared their lack of confidence in the ability of Prof. Nelson Brambaifa to salvage the Niger Delta Development Commission in his capacity as acting Managing Director.
The former militants have therefore resolved to lead a campaign against his confirmation as Managing Director of the commission.
The want President Muhammadu Buhari to sack him and replace him with someone who has the interest of the region at heart.
The Leader of the group, Pastor Reuben Wilson, said in a statement on Monday that Brambaifa had shown that he lacked the capacity to pilot the affairs of the region.
Wilson said the acting MD was more interested in developing himself than the Niger Delta.
He said the former freedom fighters would, in the next few days, begin the processes of a peaceful protest to register their grievances against the acting Managing Director.
Wilson noted that it was unfortunate that although Brambaifa was an indigene of Bayelsa State, he chose to shut his doors to genuine critical stakeholders from the state who were desirous of drawing his attention to development challenges in the state and other parts of the region.
He said: “We are not happy with his style. Prof is not trying and we the (ex militant) leaders, we have agreed on getting in touch with Mr President and all security agencies on this matter. He has to go. Our position is that he is not fit to be MD of NDDC because as MD of NDDC, you are expected to be connected to the people and know what is going on so that you can tackle the problems.
“That office is our own office; it belongs to everyone in the Niger Delta, we are expecting him to see everybody as one. It is wrong for the MD to cause division in NDDC and in the region. It is for this same reason that the leadership of the IYC recently passed a vote of no confidence on him. That is how bad it is.
“We have reviewed activities in the NDDC since Brambaifa took over and we have concluded that if we allow things to go on like this, there will be crisis. We put our lives on the line some years back because we wanted a better deal for the Niger Delta.
“It is very annoying that despite the money that is being pumped into the NDDC, the Niger Delta people, the masses, are not feeling anything. When we meet Mr President, we will tell him to remove him(the Acting MD) and bring in someone that will have a listening ear, someone that will reach out to the people, to the masses, that will reach out to the least people in Niger Delta.
“This is someone that has been picking calls whenever we call when he was just a representative of Bayelsa State on the board. He was blaming Nsima Ekere, the former MD, for the lack of projects in Bayelsa State.
“That same person is in a position now to develop the place but he has fenced himself such that you cannot reach him. My colleagues are blaming me for being slow in taking action on this matter. We are very angry and things cannot continue like this.
“Go to Koluama in Bayelsa and see things for yourself. Yenagoa to that place is two hours, 50 minutes drive, Koluama happens to be one of the communities that produce oil very well. Crude oil is in Koluama. We have oil companies that are operating there. Now, go and see Koluama, go there and see what is going on. People are dying, not just Koluama. Go to Forupa axis and other axis, nothing is happening there. No road to the place.
“There is this issue of water hyacinth. When he was a state rep, we discussed with him about how the NDDC can tackle that problem for the people. He was blaming Nsima, that the then MD did not award the contract and that he was putting pressure for the issue to be addressed.
“Now, he is on that seat. I have personally called him many times to discuss this and other projects that are dear to the heart of the Koluama people. He will not pick the calls. Other colleagues and stakeholders keep calling him but he will not talk to anybody. We were in the creeks so that the government can address these development needs of our people. We have accepted amnesty now and our son is on the saddle, yet he is behaving as if he is the Lord of Manor. We cannot keep quiet again. Brambaifa must go.”