Akwa Ibom State Ex-Militants Phase 2 Forum of the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore threats and calls for the removal of Senator Godswill Akpabio as the Minister of Niger Delta.The Forum rather commended the President for assigning the portfolio to Akpabio, saying he made the best choice in the Minister.It will be recalled that calls had been making the rounds from many quarters within the coastal region to the presidency to relieve Akpabio of his job.The development, however, followed the recent leadership controversy in the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

But the ex-militants forum in a statement signed by its Chairman, Comrade Imoh Okoko in Abuja on Sunday stated that the alleged transfer of supervisory role of NDDC from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the constitution of the 3 member interim committee for the board were not masterminded by Akpabio as being speculated.The forum said that the sack calls were a byproduct of ethnic sentiments against the minister and Akwa Ibom people.The militants vowed to resist any attempt to sideline the State in the affairs of the region and the maligning of the minister, saying such display of sentiments and parochial interests were among the reasons the oil rich region has largely remained backwards.