NDDC to build fibre optic, development bank in region
• Ijaw leaders seek trial of ex-JTF boss over alleged military offensive
• Rivers police to probe assault on former militants at agency’s office
In its determination to create an enabling environment for the relocation of the International Oil Companies (IOC) to the Niger Delta, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) may have perfected plans to build a fiber optic network in the region to deepen internet penetration and speed.
Chairman of NDDC, Victor Ndoma-Egba who disclosed this yesterday in Asaba during a visit to Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa said a Niger Delta Development Bank would also be established to cater for development of the area.
Ndoma Egba who was in the state to solicit its government support and partnership in its ongoing reforms, said the commission was desirous of carrying out joint venture projects with member states.
Okowa however, tasked the NDDC on the need to involve the people of the region in projects planning and execution.
He said that the siting of impactful projects, like the Bomadi-Omadino-Escravos-Okerenkoko road could only be achieved based on the actual needs of the people, adding: “This is an important road that crisscrosses two major oil producing nationalities in the state.”
He urged the Federal Government to re-constitute the advisory and project monitoring committees of the agency to improve accountability, transparency, cooperation and partnership.
In a related development, Ijaw Leaders of Gbaramatu Kingdom in Delta State have sought the trial of the former Commander of the Joint Military Taskforce, Brig. Gen. Sarkein Yarki Bello Over the alleged 2009 military offensive against them.
Speaking under the auspices of the Federated Niger-Delta Ijaw Communities (FNDIC) and Gbaramatu Rebirth Initiative (GIR), they alleged that the military invasion to their kingdom was a taboo, lamenting that its activities culminated in the loss of several lives.
A statement signed by Chief Bello Oboko, Fred Pink, Moses Yabrade, Godwill Doubra Wuruyai, said it has become imperative for the Federal Government to initiate a disciplinary action against Bello.
They claimed Bello’s action led to the December 5, 2013 Judgment against the Federal government and a cost awarded amounting to about N100 billion to the 53 communities in the kingdom.
Meanwhile, there were indications yesterday that the Rivers police command has commenced the probe of the alleged police assault and arrest of ex-militants who protested at the NDDC head office in Port Harcourt.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Nnamdi Omoni said the police has commenced investigation into the incident and that they were waiting for response from the DPO in charge of the area to commence full probe.
Niger Delta ex-militant leaders had on Wednesday in Bomadi, Delta State claimed they were attacked by the police at the NDDC office.
The National Chairman of Phase Two ex-militants, Stephen Ebisinte, said they wrote series of letters to the new management of the NDDC when they came on board, felicitating with them and informing them of the existing relationship between the Commission and ex-militant leaders, and that they got no response from the NDDC.
On the state of protesters in their custody, Omoni said: “I am yet to get the feedback. The details have been sent to the DPO’s office and I’m yet to get feedback from him.”