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Niger Delta: Osinbajo shouldn’t meet with PANDEF – NDPC

 
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Nigerian News Update » Nigerian Newspapers
Punch Newspaper
 
The Niger Delta People’s Congress on Wednesday faulted the November 1 ultimatum given by the Chief Edwin Clark-led Pan Niger Delta Forum to the Federal Government to implement its 16-point agenda, describing the decision as “highly selfish and unpatriotic.”

The group’s Convener, Chief Mike Loyibo, stated this in a statement in Abuja.

Clark had at a press conference on Monday threatened that PANDEF would withdraw from the peace negotiation  it was having with the Federal Government to bring lasting peace to the oil-rich region if the forum’s demands were not met before November 1.

READ ALSO: Niger Delta leaders give FG ultimatum on peace talks

But Loyibo said the threat was uncalled for considering the right steps taken so far by the Federal  Government towards a permanent solution to the crisis that had bedeviled the region.

He described PANDEF as just one of  the many groups in the region, saying the forum’s decision could not be binding on everybody.

He said, “It is highly selfish and unpatriotic for the Chief E. K. Clark-led PANDEF to give the Federal Government an ultimatum considering the right steps taken so far by the government towards a permanent solution to the age-long crisis that had bedeviled the Niger Delta region.

“We are aware that the government constituted a high-powered committee chaired by the Acting President who has demonstrated so much passion and commitment towards the region.

“PANDEF is just one of the many groups in the region and its decision cannot be binding on everybody.

“There is no need for the Federal Government to negotiate with any group, rather, the Presidency should go back to the people in the host communities just the same way that the Acting President  went round initially to seek their buy-in. After all, it was not PANDEF that secured peace in the region.

“They have consulted widely and a road map has already been fashioned out. The Federal Government should not allow any group to slow her down, rather immediate action should be taken to tackle already identified issues.”

Loyibo then listed some of the issues that the Federal Government must address urgently to include the relocation of oil companies’ headquarters to the region, the maritime university, the Ogoni clean-up and the modular refineries among others.

“The oil companies should be compelled to relocate to the region as previously instructed by the Acting President. The  Maritime University needs immediate action. The modular refineries should kick off immediately.

“The NDDC, as presently constituted, should not stand. The amnesty programme should be well funded, further strengthened and re-engineered. The Ogoni clean-up should go ahead and the model should be used for other neglected communities in the region.”
 
 
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