PANDEF To Buhari: We’ll Embarrass You Before International Community

PANDEF To Buhari: We’ll Embarrass You Before International Community

Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum (PANDEF), has vowed not to en­gage the government of President Mohammadu Buhari in any negotiation concerning development of the oil-bearing region of the Niger Delta, but to channel its energy into embarrassing his government.

The forum maintained that it would no longer “waste” its time begging for the develop­ment of the region again but rather expose the wrongs done by the Buhari govern­ment, which according to it, has worsened the already bad situation of the entire south­ern Nigeria in the five years of his governance.

Accordingly, PANDEF clarified that the institution of the N50billion law suit before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja, has nothing to do with the grievous devastation of the Niger Delta environment due to oil exploration and exploitation spanning over 50 years, but “the deliberate lopsided appointments in key institutions and the Buhari government.”

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Speaking in an exclusive telephone interview on Sat­urday, the national publicity secretary of PANDEF, Hon. Ken Robinson said having presented a 16-point agenda to President Buhari since 2016 and his attendant refus­al to act on the demands, “we are compelled not to bother to beg his government to pay attention to our developmen­tal challenges again. We have resolved to embarrass his government before the inter­national community.

“We want the world to see how ethnocentric this gov­ernment is. The resources de­ployed for the development of Abuja is from the Niger Del­ta. Everyday, you go to Abuja, you either see new projects springing up or the expansion of old ones. Why can’t the gov­ernment replicate that same gesture in the Niger Delta region that produces all the money!

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“PANDEF can never ask the federal government for monetary compensation for the environmental degrada­tion of Niger Delta. We want to see Niger Delta indigenes appointed into top manageri­al positions of critical institu­tions and government offices. Only in so doing can we slow­down in what we intend to do to this government,” he said.

Ken also recalled that on the list of utilisation of the Abacha loot of $311million, “no mention was made of any project in the Niger Del­ta. All the roads in the Niger Delta are in deplorable state. The East/West road remains uncompleted till date, yet it is one of the most critical roads in the country. Our teeming young graduates are roam­ing the streets unemployed, yet we are an oil producing region.”

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He urged the federal gov­ernment to stop playing pol­itics with the Niger Delta and call on the international oil companies to immediately relocate their headquarters to their operational bases in the Niger Delta so that the job-seeking youths can be profitably engaged.

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