—We are addressing the nagging issues
The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has called on the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators to reconsider the planned resumption of attacks on oil facilities in the region by September 10, 2017, and the notice to quit issued on the Northerners and Yorubas in the region to leave the region.
In a recent release signed by the group’s Coordinating Secretary, Dr.Alfred Mulade and made available to GbaramatuVoice, the group said that the threat of hostilities should not come at all, as PANDEF is commitment to the attainment of peace and sustainable development of the Niger Delta Region, hinged on equity and justice, by constructively engaging the Federal Government and relevant stakeholders, on behalf of the region.
Dr. Mulade further stated that frantic efforts are being made by PANDEF towards addressing the nagging issues militating against the development of the Niger Delta Region, which includes the various items contained in the 16-Point Agenda.
In his words, “It is very worthy to note the various concessions reached with the then Mr. Acting President at the Inter-Ministerial Committee Meeting, to wit: the Commitment of the Federal Government to Dialogue with PANDEF; immediate take-off of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko; relocation of head and operational bases of Oil companies to their areas of operation in the Niger Delta region; inclusion of PANDEF in Inter-Ministerial Committee on Niger Delta; establishment of modular refineries in the region; improved funding of intervention agencies such as the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Presidential Amnesty Programme; deliberate involvement and participation in the oil and gas industry; surveillance and protection of oil and gas pipelines and installations; the question of environmental remediation and Ogoni Clean-up; and the question of Bakassi People. All these are contained in the 16 -Point Agenda presented to Mr. President, on November 1, 2016, which has been adopted by the government as working document for the development of the Niger Delta Region.
In addition to the above, demands, the group said that they are also asking the Federal Government to revisit the various appointments recently made by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and all its subsidiaries, whereby Niger Deltans are grossly marginalized and excluded.
“Almost all the NNPC Board members, top and middle levels appointment are being held by northerners. Of particular note now, are the recently made 55 appointments, for which we have made a strong case to government, for a reversal. These issues he added has been sufficiently addressed by our National Leader, Chief Dr. Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, and published in two pages, in the Vanguard Newspaper of Wednesday, September 6, 2017.
Still on the need for peaceful coexistence, the group advised the Niger Delta Agitators to shun destruction of oil and gas assets and withdraw quit notice issued to northerners and Yorubas to vacate the region adding that threat of secession not viable options.
The statement further said, “PANDEF is at the forefront of the advocacy of restructuring of this country, as the most viable alternative which is being pursued with all vigour, in collaboration with the south west, south east, the middle belt and some prominent personalities from the Northern parts of this country.
They, therefore, urged the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators to rescind their threats of destruction, quit notice and secession, to remain calm, patient and patriotic, as we re-doubled our efforts towards ensuring a peaceful resolution of the challenges in the region, including the Restructuring of the country along the lines of Fiscal Federalism.
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