By Ebi Perekeme
PAN-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, has supported the oil and gas producing communities in Itsekiri, Ijaw and Urhobo ethnic nationalities, Delta State, demanding for development from the Federal Government.
The apex socio-cultural organisation of the South-South geo-political zone, National Publicity Secretary of the regional body, Hon Ken Robinson, disclosed this in a statement made available to GbaramatuVoice on Wednesday.
According to him, “We advise the Federal Government to heed their demands and urgently put in place modalities to holistically address the Niger Delta issues. President Muhammadu Buhari should act fast and rightly.
“This position was taken after a virtual meeting of the Forum’s National Executive, in consultation with strategic and critical stakeholders.”
PANDEF declared its support for any consequential, legitimate action or process the communities may take me, adding: “We urge them not to waiver, they should remain resolute and steadfast.
“The demands by the people of Gbaramatu kingdom, the Itsekiri and Urhobo groups are germane and congruent. The issues of marginalization and exclusion, of neglect, discrimination, unfairness and injustice against the Niger Delta people by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration; the abandonment of the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) Gas Revolution Industrial Park Project, the relocation of the Floating Dock, the Ownership of Oil Marginal Fields, and other matters raised variously by the groups, are issues that PANDEF have been talking about.”
“Sadly, the federal government has been heedless, detached, and carried on with unconcerned ease.
“The arising development where oil and gas producing communities and ethnic groups in the Niger Delta region are now issuing ultimatums and threats to the federal government, is therefore, not unexcepted.
” We had warned that the people will soon run out of patience with the government. The country should not be surprised to see more oil producing communities and ethnic groups take similar steps. The Buhari administration cannot continue to take the goodwill of the people of the Niger Delta region for granted,” the group stated.
“Recall that on 1st November 2016, a delegation of 100 Niger Delta people, including traditional rulers, eminent statesmen, technocrats, professionals as well as rights activists, women and youth leaders, visited President Muhammadu Buhari, under the auspices of PANDEF. After we had assuaged agitated youths to declare unilateral ceasation of attacks on critical oil infratstructure in the Niger Delta, at the time,” the group added