The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) led by Edwin Kiagbodo Clark yesterday responded to its alleged overthrow by a coalition of militants under the platform of Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA).
The RNDA, which is allegedly working with the Pan-Niger Delta Peoples Congress (PNDPC) led by Mike Loyibo, had claimed that it was the recognised group to engage with the Federal Government on Niger Delta matters.
But a statement signed yesterday by PANDEF Secretary, Alfred Mulade, denied its displacement as claimed by the RNDA and PNDPC.
“There have been reports in the media that a certain coalition of militant groups under the aegis of all sort of names, being Coordinated by RNDA, purporting to have displaced the Edwin Clark-led PANDEF and adopted another PNDPC to negotiate with government on behalf of the region.
“In as much as PANDEF does not intend to join issues with the PNDPC and its promoters, in the likes of Pere Charles Ayemi-Botu, JP, Paramount Ruler of Seimbiri Kingdom and Loyibo, it is however, imperative that the records are corrected in the public domain,” the statement said.
Mulade said no militant group that goes by any of those names gave PANDEF any mandate, as they do not exist anywhere.
He added that the claims were the handiwork of mischievous persons who want to mislead members of the public and to appropriate the gains PANDEF has recorded in the Niger Delta, as well as curry cheap popularity.