The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) yesterday cautioned against the continuous persecution, discrimination, as well as sack and demotion threats of employees of Niger Delta origin at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Its President, Eric Omare, said such an action by the General India Garba led agency was dangerous to the peace and security of the Niger Delta region.It noted that since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office, Niger Delta people who were recruited at NIMASA during President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and while Patrick Akpobolakaemi was Director General of the agency, have been under constant threat of sack and discriminatory treatment.
“The threats have reached a crescendo under the board headed by General India Garba (rtd), who have now resolved to sack and demote most staff members of NIMASA who are from the Niger Delta under the guise of proper placements,” the statement said.
It said since the Niger Delta people were equally Nigerians, they should be given equal access of employment and decent work in national institutions like NIMASA.
The statement also disclosed that the NIMASA board was putting pressure on the Director General, Dakuku Peterside, to sack and demote in spite of directive by the Senate Committee on maritime matters to stop the action.
When contacted yesterday, the Head, Corporate Communications of NIMASA, Isichei Osamgbi, promised to get back to The Guardian but did not do so as at press time.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Nsima Ekere has condemned the incessant harassment of contractors in the region by youths, saying this does not give room for development.
Speaking at the commissioning of Asuquo Nyong and Asuquo Ekpo streets in Calabar yesterday, Ekere commended the youths and people of the community for allowing the contractors to do their job in a peaceful and violent-free environment on record time.
Ekere appealed to other communities in the region to borrow a leaf from the people of Efut Abasi in Uwanse in Calabar, adding: “When we come to do projects and you harass us, you are not helping yourself and the country because if you destroy you cannot progress. I appeal to others to embrace peace and ensure completion of projects.”