From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
Activities at Benin airport was yesterday temporarily grounded by protesting youths from the oil producing communities in Edo state, over the delay in the appointment of Edo state Commissioner into the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), by President Goodluck Jonathan.
This followed the expiration of 21-day ultimatum earlier given President Goodluck to act, or shut down all oil wells in the state if the President failed to appoint a Commissioner in the next one week.
The youths blocked the exit gates and disallowed passengers’ entry into airport during the protest, creating tension along the busy Airport Road.
They however dispersed at about 11 am, following the intervention of the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Foluso Adebanjo who appealed to them to allow people’ movement into the Airport.
One of the leaders of the youths, Iyamu Osaro Culture, who spoke to journalists, said the protest followed the expiration of the 21 days ultimatum issued to the President to appoint an NDDC Commissioner in the state.
“Mr. President has allowed politics to becloud his sense of reasoning. He has remained a confused man on the issue of NDDC Commissioner in Edo state. We are urging him to disregard those issues militating against the appointment of NDDC Commissioner in Edo state.
“We are protesting because the situation is affecting youth development in Edo state. As we speak, the NDDC has resolved to empower youths in all the nine Niger Delta states. And with the non- appointment of Edo state NDDC Commissioner, Edo youths might not benefit from that. Apart from that, projects have been put on hold due to the non- appointment of a Commissioner.
“We are urging Mr. President to take responsibility and act as President, by appointing a substantive Commissioner from any quarter as long as the person is from the oil producing community. They should not use their political interest to sabotage the future of our youths and the people of the oil producing communities. Failure to do so we might resort to shut down all oil wells in Edo state”, he warned.