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Apprehension as Commission holds forum
By Ayodeji Moradeyo
March 19, 2010 03:24AM
The Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC) forum scheduled to commence today in Igbokoda, Ondo State, is generating apprehension among those billed to attend. Their fear is predicated on the bomb explosions that rocked a post-amnesty summit in Warri, Delta State on Monday.

Despite assurances from security agencies, intended participants were nursing fear at the time of this report. It was also gathered that some youth, who are not happy about the performance of the commissioner representing Ondo State on the Board of the NDDC, Benson Enikuomehin, have threatened to disrupt the meeting.

The youth, under the aegis of Ilaje Solidarity Forum, said the NDDC commissioner has not been responsive to their plights. Julius Idogalo, their spokesperson, said the group was ready to unleash terror during the forum.

But Mr. Enikuomehin said the commission was prepared to prevent the occurrence of any act like that of Warri, perpetrated by members of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). He also said the commission was networking with all security agencies and others to guarantee peace.

No trauma expected
“We chose Igbokoda as the venue because of its being a naval base.

“We don't expect any trauma during the session, but the chance of militants overrunning a naval base is very remote. It is an oddity.”

The NDDC chief said about 300 indigenes of Ilaje and Ese-Odo Local Government Areas, including traditional rulers, civil servants, politicians and others in various endeavours are expected to participate in the forum.

According to him, the essence of the meeting is to discuss with the leaders of the oil-producing areas in the state and proffer solutions to the various challenges militating against them.

He said the commission would focus attention on construction of road network, provision of potable water, qualitative healthcare, and standard education in the area.

Enikuomehin commended former governor Olusegun Agagu for opening up Ugbo-Awoye road, stressing that NDDC would before the end of April, award the contract for the first phase of 40 km Ugbonla-Ogberebini road to facilitate easy mobility of its inhabitants.