By Nwakanma OWHONDAH, Port Harcourt

THE NIGER Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has flagged off the distribution of medical supplies, relief materials and publicity/enlightenment campaign to assist the governments and people of the Niger Delta region in the fight against the novel corona virus disease.
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony at the NDDC Warehouse, in Trans-Amadi Industrial Layout, Port Harcourt, the Commission’s Acting Managing Director, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, stated that the intervention of the commission is to provide medical equipments needed to fight the fast spreading virus in the region as most of the already inadequate health facilities in region may be overwhelmed; Adding that the food items were meant to cushion the economic effect of the vulnerable people in the region, urging the committee to ensure that it gets to those who needed them.
He thank the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari and the Honorable minister of Niger Delta Affairs for graciously granting the request for the palliatives.
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer noted that the Commission was always desirous to support the government and people of the states in the Niger Delta region in the area of quality health care delivery, adding: “The Commission looks forward to strengthening relationship with the states in the region in the area of health care for the good and well-being of the residents.
In his own remarks, the NDDC Executive Director, Projects, Dr. Cairo Ojougbo, said that covid-19 was the most important issue in the world today, noting that the commission had come up with programmes to curb the spread of the virus.
The Chairman of the NDDC Palliative Committee, High Chief Hon. (Amb) Sobomabo Jackrich, described the ceremony as a laudable and historic event, stating: “When you put square pegs in square holes, you should expect good results”. He noted that Members of the Interim Management Committee, IMC, are people that mean well for the region. He further  thanked the IMC for finding youths worthy of being involved in the programme.
The Secretary-General of the Traditional Rulers of Oil Minerals Producing Communities in the Niger Delta, TROMPCON, Chief Frank Okurakpor, lauded the NDDC, for coming up with these initiatives described the commission as an auxiliary gear that extricates the people from difficult situations.
He however warned that the NDDC should not be used as a breeding ground for politicians, stating that whoever wanted to vie for any political office, should do so from elsewhere and not from the NDDC.
The Amamgada X11 of Rebisi,,Eze W. Akarolo, commended the NDDC for its development efforts in the Niger Delta and welcomed the intervention of the Commission in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Niger Delta youth leader, Mr Jonathan Lokpobiri, expressed gratitude to President Mohammed Buhari for approving the distribution of palliatives to cushion the effects of COVID-19 on the lives of vulnerable people in the region.
He said: “My appeal to the management of the NDDC is that we should jettison politics and focus on the development of our people” Other dignitaries at the flag-off ceremony including;
CP, Joseph Mukan, the Commissioner of Police, River State, Members of the Interim Management Council of the NDDC and members of the Palliative Distribution Committee.

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