By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah
The Pan-Nigeria group, Niger Delta Peoples Congress ( NDPC) has lambasted the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), for asking the federal government to meet its 16-point agenda by November 1, 2017, or risk its withdrawal from ongoing negotiations that had calmed nerves in the region in the last one year.
Leader of the group, Chief Mike Loyibo in a statement described PANDEF’s position as selfish and unpatriotic considering the efforts of the federal government so far.
According to him, PANDEF is just one group in the Niger Delta so their decision cannot be binding on everybody .
He said “It is highly selfish and unpatriotic for the Chief E. K. Clark led PANDEF to give the Federal Government an ultimatum considering the right steps taken so far by the Federal Government towards a permanent solution to the age long crisis that had bedeviled the Niger Delta region by constituting a high powered committee chaired by the Acting President who has demonstrated so much passion. and commitment towards the region.
” PANDEF is just one of the many groups in the region and their decision cannot be binding on everybody. There’s no need for the Federal Government to negotiate with any group, rather, the presidency should go back to the people in the host communities just the same way that the Acting President went round initially to seek their buy-in. After all it was not PANDEF that secured peace in the region.
He contended that the federal government has consulted widely and a road map has already been fashioned out.
According to him, the Federal Government should not allow any group to slow her down, rather immediate action should be taken to tackle already identified issues.
He added that the oil companies should be compelled to relocate to the region as previously instructed by the Acting President.
“The Maritime University needs immediate action. The modular refineries should kick off immediately. The NDDC as presently constituted should not stand.
“The Amnesty Programme should be well funded, further strengthened and re-engineered. The Ogoni Clean-up should go ahead and the model used for other neglected communities in the region.
“PANDEF does not represent all interest groups in the region. No group should engage the Federal government on lengthy talks at this time. We have gone beyond that and beside, PANDEF is not a total and accurate reflection of the region,” he added.
At the same time, he pointed out that nobody or group should blackmail the Federal government calling on the to go ahead to implement based on the road map that’s already carved out.
“Our son, former president, GOODLUCK JONATHAN was in office for so many years and these same people that presently constitute PANDEF were the principal actors around him.
“They were not able to achieve anything in the region and how come they are now turning the pressure on a young government that have shown genuine commitment like we have never seen before. We should also look at the attitude, commitment and sincerity of our leaders in the region.
“There’s a leadership crisis arising from selfishness which must be addressed instead of blacking a sincere government. The meeting tomorrow is not necessary. The Federal Government should not negotiate with any group. They should go ahead and discuss directly with the people,” he stated.