The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has cautioned the Federal Government over some of its recent actions, warning that the government should consider the consequences of treating with contempt, the 16-Point Agenda it presented to President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2016.
The group also condemned the midnight raid on the house of Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho and cautioned the Government’s plan to identify the sponsors of the rearrested leader of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
The socio-cultural organization said the action of the government has caused the Niger Delta youths to declare a vote of no-confidence on PANDEF because it was the leaders of the region that requested them to stay action when they took a decision to cripple the national economy, in 2016.
PANDEF in a press statement yesterday jointly signed by its national leader, Chief Edwin Clark and national chairman, Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, stated that it was in solidarity with Afenifere, and the South-West people, on the issue of Igboho and urged the President to call the security agencies to order.
The group also requested the Federal Government to tell Nigerians the truth of the process which led to the abduction of the IPOB leader and his clandestine and forceful repatriation to Nigeria.
The statement reads in part, “We condemn the brutal and bloody midnight raid on the residence of Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, in the Soka area of Ibadan, by agents of the Department of State Services, (DSS) in a Gestapo manner, during which innocent citizens were killed and properties destroyed.
“We caution that the reported identification of sponsors of Nnamdi Kanu, should not be an alibi to witch-hunt and persecute phantom enemies imagined by the government and hope that he will be given a fair and trial.”
The group also stated its solidarity with the people of the Middle Belt Region, in the face of brutal physical attacks and seeming plans to destroy their means of livelihood, by suspected Fulani gunmen.
Recall that a recent visit by a delegation of the Tarok people of Plateau state sent by their leader, General (Senator) Jerry Useni (rtd), to its National Leader, Chief Edwin Clark, during which they enumerated many traumatic experiences of their people in a seeming scheme to dispossess them of their land for foreigners to occupy, on basis of ethnic and religious allegiance.
The Niger Delta group stated that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, (PIB) by the National Assembly on Thursday falls short of the expectations of the Niger Delta people, who bear the brunt of the consequences of the oil and gas industry operations in their lands.
It restated its position on the restructuring of the country and insisted that Nigeria cannot continue in the present trajectory of a flawed constitution and undemocratic tendencies.
“We call on the National Assembly to accelerate the Amendment of the Electoral Act, with provisions for electronic voting, before the 2023 general elections, to guarantee free, fair and credible elections,” the statement further reads.
On the PIB, PANDEF also recalled that host communities, of the Niger Delta region, had demanded 10 per cent equity participation, as against the percentages just passed by the National Assembly.