A coalition of militant groups from the nine states of the Niger Delta has accused the leadership of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) of alleged acting of script by members of the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), alleging that the Chief E.K Clarke led PANDEF is an arm of the opposition party.
The coalition, under the aegis of the Reformed Niger Delta Agenda (RNDA), after a crucial meeting held along the Benin River in Delta state and presided over by its leader, Major Johnmark Ezonbi, declared that the PANDEF was structured as an opposition tool of failed PDP which could not develop the long neglected region despite being in power for 16 years.
The coalition, in a communique signed by Major Ezonbi, declared: “With the huge resources that accrue to them by the 13% oil derivation funds through the federal government but all the funds were looted by this so called corrupt PANDEF leaders to the lowest ebb.
“Most members of PANDEF were former appointed or elected political office holders in the Niger Delta but did not use their privileged position to better the lot of their people or use their positions to impact positively on the lives of the people but looted the resources of the nation with impunity citing former petroleum minister and Niger Delta minister Diezani Allison-Madueke and Godsday Orubebe among the looting spree PDP members in the region.”
The RNDA leader noted that the proposed PANDEF meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers state scheduled for Thursday October 26, 2017 has put paid to speculations that the group was an arm of a failed political party with the calibre of persons invited, former governors, former ministers, formers senators and former house of Reps members from the Niger Delta.
This, the group said, showed that PANDEF was parading a retinue of failed politicians and national treasury looters who have contributed to the under development of the region.
He stated that PANDEF has been disbanded and it remained so and warned the federal and state governments and their agencies to stop dealing with the group under any guise on behalf of the region as PANDEF does not have the locus standi to meet and discuss issues affecting the region.
“We the RNDA and other agitating militants in the creeks of the region will not allow this failed corrupt PDP leaders to thwart our genuine agitation for the development of the region and that this group of disbanded corrupt PANDEF group of persons cannot be trusted to speak on behalf of the region,” the group said.
Major Ezonbi said: “Chief EK Clark and his cohort in PANDEF should know that the same militants which gave them the mandate has since withdrawn it and given to a more robust transparent group of persons of clean track record, people who can be trusted and reliable by development driven body the Pan Niger Delta Peoples Congress PNDPC led by His Majesty Pere Charles Ayemi Both, Paramount ruler of Seimbiri kingdom and former national Chairman of TROMPCON.”
RNDA said the withdrawal of the mandate from the Clark led PANDEF followed wide consultations and deliberations from all the agitating militant groups across the entire region so any one relating with PANDEF on behalf of the region is on its own.
He stressed that the group was made up of corrupt persons who had served in different administrations hence the APC led federal government that has zero tolerance for corruption had difficulty dealing with them while the region suffered neglect and underdevelopment due to their self centeredness and greed.
“We challenge Clark to come out boldly and list the achievements of PANDEF or any other development attracted to the region while they were in power yet they want to speak for the region. Who is fooling who? Posterity will not forgive them for using the instrument of power and development placed in their hands for personal aggrandizement.
“RNDA with the coalation of other militant groups in the region wish to call on President Muhammadu Buhari not to have anything to do with the disbanded PANDEF group as they cannot speak or negotiate with the federal government on behalf of the Niger Delta region stressing that the coalition will be forced to resume hostilities in the creek in a well coordinated approach if the federal government enters into any discussion with PANDEF as the group no longer enjoys the blessings and support of militants stakeholders in the region.
“Therefore RNDA urge the federal governments to enter into fresh talks with the Pan Niger Delta Peoples Congress headed by HRM Pere Charles, Dr Ayemi Botu and other respected traditional rulers and stakeholders in the region including Rev Dr. Mike Emuh the national chairman of HOSTCOM and high chief Dr. Francis Innegbeniki representing Edo state, which has our mandate from the creek to discuss and negotiate with the federal government on behalf of the region while PANDEF that is made up of PDP members are made up of corrupt personalities who has contributed to the under development of the region.
“We wonder why the 13% derivation funds meant for development of the region is been mismanaged by this so called former PDP govs, ministers, Senators and former House of Reps members from the region while Clark continue to strive to be a father of south south region with out any meaningful impact in the region.”