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David-West Under Fire Over Ufot Ekaette

David-West Under Fire Over Ufot Ekaette

* As MEND Denies Attack On Agip Flowstation


THE Eket axis of Akwa Ibom State, the main oil-producing area of the state, has taken on former Petroleum Ministeer, Prof. Tam David-West, over the people described as his ''unguarded utterances'' on the choice of Chief Ufot Ekaette by President Umar Yar'Adua, as Niger Delta Minister.

This is coming as the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) in an on-line statement yesterday denied being part of those who attacked an oil facility belonging to an Italian com,pany, Agip.

Community leaders who spoke with our correspondent yesterday said the virology professor takes delight in living under an illusion.

''It is very surprising to us that a supposed scholar of David-West stature is yet to come to realisation that the Niger Delta does not belong exclusively to the Ijaw people'', Maurice Edoho-Eket, a community leader said, adding the Kalabari people are not by any means, racially superior to the Eket people.

Chairman of the Foundation for Sustainable Development, Chief Ekaette Etukudo, alleged that David-West was one of those who brought Nigeria where it is today in terms of ''bad governance and corruption''.

According to him, ''the University of Ibadan teacher lacks the moral power and justification to comment on issues of good governance. We will like to plead with the Nigerian people to discard his comment because his mind is diseased with corrupt tendency''.

Madam Ema Brown, a veteran journalist and women leader in her own comment said, ''i will not like to join issues with David-West because he has exposed himself as a parochial figure. Let me, however, say this, the Niger Delta will no longer be a minesfield for those who profit immensely from the crisis. And for university teachers like David-West who refused to learn, we should let them know that ministerial portfolios are not allocated on the basis of ethnic background''.

In the mean time, MEND Spokesman, Jomo Gbomo, says the insurgent group did not participate in the attack on the Agip operated Tebidaba flow station in Bayelsa state on December 25, 2008 as alleged by the military Joint Task Force (JTF).

''MEND is still abiding by the September 2008 ceasefire. We are aware of hostilities between the military and some local youths after the army opened fire on the protesting youths and decided to justify their action by naming MEND as those it engaged with'', he said.

According to the militant group, ''the JTF is aware that if MEND were to have led that attack, the story will be different. Whenever hostilities resumes, we will take responsibility for any attack we carry out. We use this opportunity to call on the international community to impress on the Nigerian government to do the right thing by releasing Henry Okah to proceed for medical treatment and seek the path of genuine peace to avoid a total collapse of the oil industry in 2009''.


© Scoop Media

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