Residents of Niger Delta region have expressed mixed views on the appointments of Godswill Akpabio and Festus Keyamo as Minister and Minister of State respectively for the Ministry of Niger Delta.
President Muhammadu Buhari had saddled the two men with the responsibility of overseeing development initiatives in the oil-rich region where poverty mocks the enormous wealth in resources.
Speaking to Sahara Reporters on Thursday, residents of the area said that regardless of the persons selected by Buhari, all they wanted was for the region to be developed by the government.
A newspaper vendor in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Ebi John, while reacting to the appointments of Akpabio and Keyamo, said both ministers should work closely to bring a new ray of hope into the Niger Delta.
He said, “The Buhari-led government has done well for us this time around in terms of appointments.
“I am very happy and it will be good to see to them clean up the polluted sites because we are dying on daily bases over the neglect.”
Another vendor, Etimigha Osem, want the appointment of the two men to translate to better living conditions for the people of the region.
He said, “We need basic amenities and enabling environment for the youths to thrive not the appointment of some jobbers who will only enrich themselves and their cronies.”
President of Ijaw Youth Council, Eric Omare, hailed the appointments of Keyamo and Akpabio, insisting that they are the best men to handle the affairs of the Niger Delta.
He said, “They are good materials with an understanding of the issues of the Niger Delta.
“I expect them to properly galvanise and coordinate the development of the Niger Delta region in the next four years of the Buhari administration.
“They must give priority to the completion of the East-West Road and other key developmental projects in the region.”
However, a resident of the region named Fyneface Fyneface said that the appointments of Keyamo as Minister of State in the Niger Delta Ministry, was a wrong choice as he would be underutilised given his background as a lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
He said, “I believe and trust in the capacity of Akpabio in driving the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs with a view to achieving the policies and programs of President Buhari for the region.
“But the appointment of Keyamo in that ministry is a misplaced priority because he would be underutilised.”
On his part, Austin Ozobo said the appointments speaks a lot on the abysmal crusade against corruption by the Buhari-led government.
He said, “Before Akpabio joined the All Progressives Congress he was accused of corruption, arrested and detained but since he joined the party, his sins had been forgiven.
“It is also true that the fight against him is a big joke and appointing Keyamo as junior minister to Akpabio is to rubbish Keyamo who prosecuted Akpabio on corruption.”