Otuekong Sunny Jackson Udoh
One of the founding leaders of the South-South People’s Assembly (SSPA), Otuekong Sunny Jackson Udoh has condemned the criticisms from a Northern cleric and some politicians on the appointment of Nyesom Wike from the South-South as Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
He said the FCT was constructed during the military era using the Niger Delta resources, hence the former Governor of Rivers State, Wike is ably qualified to be the minister of the territory.
Udoh said it was despicable to even conceive such argument adding that it has already been established that Abuja is not a state.
“It is wrong for us to malign our people. The Niger Delta people did not stop the Federal Government from using the money derived from resources in our region to build Abuja. Therefore, we have equal stake in the Nigerian nation. This discriminatory remark is like placing our people as inferior to others. Anyone criticizing the Federal Capital Territory minister’s appointment is an enemy to the country. It is discriminatory to make such remarks”, he said
The All Progressive Congress (APC), chieftain also cautioned a leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum(PANDEF) , an offshoot of SSPA on the sweeping castigation of sequel to recent political tumult in Rivers state.
He vehemently disapproved the open reprimand, saying that there are expected to support and counsel their upcoming leaders.
Udoh lauded the Rivers state political leaders for their intervention and informing the public on what led to the confusion instead of a perceived notion that it was directed at the governor.
He said the setting up of organizations like the SSPA, PANDEF was to campaign for a South-South President and protection of their people. And the SSPA declaration and affirmation in Calabar at about 2006 led to the massive campaign for a South-South president.
“Since we had achieved this through Goodluck Jonathan who emerged as President Yar’Adua’s successor, we should now focus on grooming upcoming leaders in the region, than creating conflict amongst ourselves.
“Don’t forget, we also fought successfully to obtain amnesty for our youth who could only express their frustration through militancy, ” the veteran politician said.
Udoh who is not from Rivers state, but one of the leaders in the South-South, advised leaders in the zone to walk together to develop the region and its people rather than engaging in verbal wars which will not augur well for the people.
The former legislator in the second Republic, while commenting on the probable plot to oust the Rivers state governor which created the impasse in the area, said it was instructive for the principal gladiators involved in the crisis to sheath their swords in response to calls by leaders in the region for amicable resolution of the political watershed.