• Saturday, April 20, 2024
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NDDC remembers Ken Saro-Wiwa, storms Bane community with amenities


The revived Niger Delta Development Board (NDDC) seems to touch base with critical centres and nerves in the volatile oil region. The strategy since the new management led by Samuel Ogbuku, an activist, came to the limelight, now backed by a new board chairman, a lawyer, Chiedu Ebie, seems to be to begin by assuaging the grievances and anger of the icons that command the love of the people, and those for whose struggles the Commission was created in year 2000.

One of such icons is the late Ken Saro-Wiwa, and the NDDC has marked out his community, Bane, in Khana LGA of Rivers State, for urgent attention.

Pupils studying hard on sand in Khana LGA

This strategy coupled with the welfare and human capital development approach of the Rivers State Representative on the 7th board of the NDDC, Tony Okocha, seems to win hearts fast and massively so far, at least in Rivers State where the headquarters of the Commission is located.

Okocha has so far led the NDDC to distribute relief commodities for victims of flood disaster, rescued cholera victims in Soku, and has stormed Bane with solar-powered street lights.

This new touch seems to soften the hearts of the people of the region who had been severely injured by the inactions of the NDDC in the past 20 years coupled with news of wasted N6 trillion found in the forensic audit that was ordered by former president, Muhammadu Buhari.

Okocha while justifying his approach (welfare and human capital development) had argued that if humans were allowed to perish, nobody would use the projects people talk about.

The visit to the hometown of the late Ken Saro Wiwa seemed to provoke excitement and enthusiasm from the masses and leaders alike.

Tony Okocha representing the NDDC chairman on Bane tour

It was thus a carnival on Thursday, February 29, 2024, in the community, as the NDDC, through the Rivers State Office of the Commission, flagged off the installation of about 300 hybrid solar-powered streetlights in the community.

The Rivers State representative in the NDDC board, while on a courtesy visit to the palace of the Gbenemene of Ken-Khana kingdom, Barile Yornah Deebom, posited that the 7th NDDC board, headed by the Chiedu Ebie, and the MD/CEO, Samuel Ogbuku, found it worthy to light up Bane Community through to Ken Saro-Wiwa Memorial Park, in commemoration of the late icon, Ken Saro-Wiwa.

He promised that NDDC would also give prompt attention to the Bane Community Road.

Addressing the press after the official flag-off of the project, Okocha emphasized that the project was in line with the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’ of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This he said is in ensuring that the welfare of the people was made top priority.

He thanked President Tinubu for constituting the 7th Governing Board of the NDDC with the best of the best and reassured that the board is poised to rewrite the history of NDDC by ensuring that the people of Niger Delta felt the impact of the Commission.

The Gbenemene, in his ‘Thank You’ speech, commended the NDDC for this gesture. He specially thanked the representative of the state on the NDDC Board for this uncommon show of love to the Bane Community by bringing these huge projects to the community.

Others who spoke at the event, expressing gratitude and appreciation to the NDDC for the project, included the President of KAGOTE, Emmanuel Deeyah; the chairman of Khana LGA, Thomas Bariere; environmental rights activist and chieftain of APC, Celestine AkpoBari; Caroline Nagbor, and the elder brother of the late Ken Saro-Wiwa, Harry Wiwa, among others.

The highlight of the event was the observance of a minute of silence in honor of the departed icon led by Okocha.

Video clips out of Bane showed that pupils were learning seated on sandy floors. Hope was thus renewed that such would be a thing of the past in Wiwa’s hometown.

(Source: Jacobs Chimezie Happiness, SA on Media to Rivers State Rep in the NDDC Board)