Ijaw Activist Renews Interest To Serve In NDDC Board

An Ijaw rights activist, Rev (Dr) Soberekon Sokari has expressed willingness to serve in the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) with a pledge to instill sanity and accountability in the agency.

He said his request to serve in the board of the NDDC is not for monetary gains but to direct the minds of other serving officials on what the real needs of the people are, adding that the history of the Commission would not be complete without a mention of his name, adding that he personally fought for its establishment.

He told journalists in Port Harcourt on Monday: “My efforts gave birth to NDDC from OMPADEC.

 It is very disheartening seeing that these efforts have only impacted on the politicians and not the people.  It is painful that the people I fought for 40 years ago are still suffering despite the huge resources that have continued to accrue into the region”, he submitted.

Sokari, the founder of Christ Jesus Link Publishers Church and ‘Senior Advocate of Niger Delta’, said as one who has been present from the formation of the NDDC, the problem with the agency does not lie on name change as being advocated in some quarters, but on the willingness to serve by those saddled with the management of the commission.

Renowned for non-partisanship activism, the sportsman and true son of the Bight of Biafra also tasked political leaders on national development and selfless service to their fatherland.

He said like the sportsmen and women has done by bringing honour to the country, politicians should also learn to be selfless in their service to the country by honouring the people as he did in 1981, as a sportsman.

The Ijaw vocal man said in 1981, he went on hunger strike to demand for oil derivation for the people of the South-South region as a known sportsman in the country.

Sokari narrated how the then governor of Mid-Western Region, Prof. Ambrose Ali of UPN went up to the Supreme Court to demand for oil derivation for the South-South but failed.

He said he achieved the feat through non violence means by embarking on hunger strike and meeting with the then President Shehu Shagari in Port Harcourt when he visited for his re-election campaign.

“President Shehu Shagari approved my demand for oil derivation at the Civic Center after the then governor of Rivers State, Chief Melford Okilo told the President that I, Sokari, the strong Ijaw man is speaking the mind of the people, and that was how we got the oil derivation”, he said.

He added that those present at the event when he confronted the late President Shagari include former governor of Rivers State, Chief Rufus Ada-George; former Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Sir GTG Toby; Chief A.K. Horsfall; Oba of Ogbaland, Eze Chukwumela Nnam Obi II and Dr. Sagbe Ikiriko to mention a few.

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