…No Wealth From Niger Delta, No Nigeria-PANDEF
…We Are More Resolved To Emancipate Ourselves-Mulade
The Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, which consists of a group of cerebral personalities across the South South, is set to hold the next mega rally to push for the adoption of a restructuring in the political architecture of the nation.
The rally billed Saturday, March 24, 2018, is to hold at the newly refurbished Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
According to a press statement that emanated from the office of the Coordinating Secretary of the group, Dr Alfred Mulade, the campaign for the restructuring of Nigeria, is raging throughout the country and it is now clear that Nigeria cannot have peace and development without reorganizing the political system to guarantee federal equity and justice for all.
The statement noted that PANDEF and its affiliate bodies and groups across the southern and middle belts areas of the country are at the forefront of this patriotic struggle and that other mega rallies have taken place all over the southern part of the country.
Noting that similar rallies have held in Ibadan and Enugu, with representatives from other southern states. PANDEF, in its statement commends the efforts of its associates in holding these rallies and in joining their voices to the cause.
The statement reads; ” Arising from series of strategic meetings of Southern Nigerian Leaders with PANDEF, the Afenifere, OhanezeNdigbo, the Middle Belt Forum, and other stakeholders, in Lagos and Abuja, and in each region. it was resolved that the campaign for RESTRUCTURING should be extended to more grassroots levels.
”To this end, the South-West region held her own Summit/Rally on Restructuring at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan, Oyo State on Thursday, September 7, 2017, where our own Chief A.K Horsfall led the South-South Delegation to that Rally, while the South East Delegation was led by Chief Nnia Nwodo, President General, OhanaezeNdigbo. This event which was widely publicized attracted far-reaching commendations.
”PANDEF commends the efforts of its national partners that have held rallies and summits on Restructuring. At Ibadan, the Yoruba people spoke with one united voice in support of Restructuring.
”On January 11th this year, there was the historic Handshake Across the Niger Summit in Enugu by the people of the South-East and the South-West. These two Nigerian regions for federalism and democracy affirmed their irrevocable resolve to win the struggle for Restructuring.
”PANDEF Delegation to the Enugu epic event which was headed by His Excellency, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (Rtd), former military Governor of Akwa Ibom State who also represent Chief Dr. Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, OFR, CON, Leader of the South-South and National Leader, PANDEF, included Senator Bassey Ewa-Henshaw, Chief Francis Doukpola, Chief TKO Okorotie, Chief Douyi Douglas-Naingba, Arc. Amagbe Kentebe, Prof. Augustine Ikein, Mrs. Marie Ebikake, Chief Mrs. Betty Igbeyi, Mr. Tony Uranta and Dr. Alfred Mulade”.
While PANDEF reveals that its associates in the South East are planning their own rally in the month of February, it added that its own version, which will be the first-ever in the region will be a turning point for the liberation of the Niger Delta from exploitation, oppression and past neglect.
”We have it on good authority that the arrangements have reached an advanced stage for South-East to hold its Rally sometime in February 2018, and we are ready to give them full support”, the statement added.
”Consequently, the PAN NIGER DELTA FORUM (PANDEF), the premier umbrella body of Monarchs, past and present political office holders, community leaders, academics, opinion molders, leaders of thought, women and youth groups in the region, has concluded plans to hold the first-ever South-South Mega-rally on restructuring, on March 24, 2018, at the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
‘‘The planned South-South MEGA RALLY of March 24, 2018, will be a turning point in the struggle to liberate the Niger Delta from exploitation, oppression, and neglect. The Niger Delta is the economic power house of the country. Without the wealth of oil and gas of the Niger Delta, there will be no Nigeria. Our people are ever determined to emancipate themselves from economic and political slavery. RESTRUCTURING is the only route to liberty and justice”.
The group explained that the rally will serve to mobilize and raise the consciousness of the people of the south-south. It also revealed the personalities expected to grace the occasion.
”The key essence of the Mega Rally is to mobilize and raise consciousness of the people of the South-South region and to, articulate a common, unified agenda on the subject matter of Restructuring .
”A strong delegation from the South West will be led by Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Chief OluFalae; a strong delegation from the South East will be led by the President-General of Ohanaeze, Chief Nnia Nwodo and His Excellency, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, while an equally high power delegation from the Middle Belt will be led by the President of Middle Belt Forum (MBF),Dr. Bala Takaya and His Excellency Jonah Jang, former Governor of Plateau State.
”Speakers and participants shall be drawn from across political, economic and social spectra; government and non-governmental organizations from the whole country at this epoch-making sensitization rally to enlighten and educate the people of the region who are more affected in this matter of restructuring including the area of devolution of power and Fiscal Federalism.
The 124-member group called on all people of the region in all spheres of life to attend the rally in order to re-emphasize and re-define the significance of the event and issue involved.
”The indices are there for everyone to see and appreciate. All sons and daughters of the region, whether in politics and outside politics should make it a duty to attend and give a feeling to the Nigerian public; to re-emphasize and redefine the essence and significance of the PANDEF 16-point Item of Demands to serve as the basis for constructive engagement with the Federal Government and other geo-political zones in a united Federal Republic of Nigeria, on the platform of equity, fairness and justice.
”It must be placed on record that it was the concerted effort of the Southern Nigeria leaders made of South- East, South-South and the South-West that culminated into the success of the historic 2014 National Conference, where over 600 recommendations, including the issue of true Federalism and State police were recommended for the country”.
The group also stated that the survival of the region can only be achieved through justice and equity, while also noting the appalling situation, whereby the region’s wealth are been managed and controlled by certain elements without commensurate contributions.
”It must be noted that the survival of our region and Nigeria is dependent on the restructuring of Nigeria. It is appalling to see a situation whereby our resources are taken from our region, controlled, managed and retained by others who contribute nothing in return to the development of our region.
”It is important to note that this all-important South South Mega Rally on restructuring which is being put together under the guidance and leadership of Chief Dr. Edwin Kiagbodo, Clark OFR, CON, National leader, PANDEF; Convener, South South Peoples Assembly, and co-Convener, Southern Nigeria Leaders, also enjoys the active inputs and participation of eminent personalities and stakeholders of the South South Region.