The operational office of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, located along Owerri/Port Harcourt Express Road, Imo State, has on Monday, June 28, 2021, been temporarily shut down by youths from the oil bearing communities of Ohaji/Egbema LGA during a peaceful protest.
The protesting youths stormed the Commission, locked and blocked the main entrance gate into the commission with a decorated coffin by their Chief juju priest.
The youths with their chanting songs, carried placards with inscriptions “we need our right in NDDC”, “return our diverted NDDC projects”, “we say no to NDDC Marginalisation”, “enough of these Marginalisation”, “Avu Etekwuru road is a death trap”, barricaded the commission.
Addressing journalists during the protest, the National President of Ohaji Youths, Comrade Ugorji Emmanuel, condemned the recent employment conducted by the Commission without capturing people from the oil rich communities of Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta LGA.
According to them, out of the 800 jobs, 80 slots were given to Imo State and non was allotted to the people of the oil-producing communities.
The youth expressed dissatisfaction over absence of electricity, good roads and other social amenities, adding that Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta are the oil producing areas in the state yet there is nothing to show it.
They complained about the continued disregard of the communities by the Commission which has necessitated in the continued abandonment of a number of projects in their areas.
They as a matter of urgency urged the contractors to immediately return to site.
The protesting youths demanded that the projects in their oil bearing communities should be henceforth be awarded to their zone while they questioned the reasons for not capturing the youth in their communities in the recent 800 projects awared.
While demanding for immediate diversion of projects to Ohaji/Egbema and employment of youths from oil communities of Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta in Imo State, they insisted in remaining in the commission’s gate until their demands were answered.
The Ohaji/Egbema youths threatened to resort to shut down all oil installations in their localities if nothing was done immediately to address their demands.
Also speaking, the Egbema Youths President, Okenya Thedeaus Mario said that since his childhood till date, he had never seen any NDDC projects completed in his area.
He said that they had decided to come and register their position to the Commission for their action, adding that if nothing was done in that regard to addressing it, the youths would be left with no option other than to do it their best way.
As at the time of filing this report none of the NDDC staff had deemed it necessary to come out there to address the protesting youths.