Cross River State and Other Niger Delta States’ Traditional Rulers Have Been the Target of Recent Attempts to Intimidate and Silence Them, According to the NDC

Cross River State and Other Niger Delta States’ Traditional Rulers Have Been the Target of Recent Attempts to Intimidate and Silence Them, According to the NDC

Our Ref: NDC/PS/008/2023 

Greetings all,

As a political organization, the NDC believes that individual political participation should be voluntary and not due to some external coercion, most especially when such political participation doesn’t align with ones values. We believe the freedom to participate in politics also involves the freedom to abstain, and whatever a private individual opts for, their individual dignity and rights should be respected.

It is on this note that we wish to make public recent political harassments, intimidation and silencing of traditional leadership ongoing in the Niger Delta. These actions which were recorded during the Presidential and Guber election in Rivers State seems to be taking a new dimension. It has come to our notice that similar actions are being escalated in Cross River State.  Consequently, we therefore use this opportunity to condemn the haranguing and attempted silencing of HRH Ntufam Elder Stephen Mbey Okpata 1 of Oban in Akamkpa Local Government Area, by the APC led administration in Cross River State, for his refusal to support the APC candidate in the just concluded elections. We’re aware that this has culminated in the forced resignation of the revered monarch. 

Whilst HRH Ntufam Elder Stephen Mbey Okpata 1 of Oban, might wish to exempt himself from the strenuous exercise of seeking redress for the sake of his peace of mind especially as an octogenarian that he is, the NDC wishes to call to order the APC led administration in Cross River for the infringement of his rights. This evolving blatant disregard for traditional institutions of authority and leaders of our people represents an abuse of office by the APC and the leadership of Cross River State considering it has no underpinning beneficience to the Oban people.

The NDC uses this opportunity to advise the various leadership of the Niger Delta against continuing on this path of silencing and subjugating the traditional leadership of our people bearing in mind their role not just as custodians of culture and tradition, but the very firsts step in the political representation of our people. 

We continue to encourage all Niger Deltans to remain steadfast in the just struggle to shape for themselves a justice based society where freedom from oppression and a rule of law focused on the protection and advancement of our people is the order of the day, as there is no prospect for progress without struggle.

Mudiaga Ogboru 

National Spokesperson, NDC

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