N/Delta leaders threaten to dump FG peace talks
Niger Delta leaders led by a former minister of information, Chief Edwin Clark, yesterday threatened to pull out of peace talks with the Federal Government over crisis in the region.
The leaders under the aegis of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) said the Federal Government has not shown serious commitment since they handed over a16-point demand to President Muhammadu Buhari in November, 2016.
Addressing newsmen yesterday in Abuja, Clark explained that the leaders waded into the crisis to stop militants from blowing up oil pipe-lines in order to stabilise the economy, but stressed that if nothing was done, they would pull out and allow the youths to “take their destiny into their own hands.”
He said the PANDEF leaders have been inundated with calls and text messages from different youth groups in the region threatening to resume hostilities if nothing was done.
“I wish to urge the federal government to, as a matter of urgency, implement the pronouncements made by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, during his factfinding visits to the Niger Delta Region and to set up without delay the federal government dialogue team to engage PANDEF towards resolving the pending issues contained in the Forum’s 16-point demand on behalf of the people of Niger Delta Region by or before November, 2017,
“Human endurance has a limit, beyond which one cannot predict what the outcome will be. We submitted a 16-point demand to Mr. President on November 1, 2016 and we had expected that by its next anniversary, the 16-point agenda would have been comprehensively sorted out.
“If at the expiration of the November 1, 2017, ultimatum, the federal government fails and or refuses to accede to these lawful and legitimate demands of the Niger Delta People, PANDEF may consider pulling out of the on-going peace process in the Niger Delta.
“We have come to observe that the idea of the Hon Minister of State for Petroleum Resources about the establishment of modular refineries is different from the original announcement made by Mr. Acting President, at Uyo. The Minister’s 20-Point agenda is inconsistent with our 16-Point Programme and we see him in his official position, attempting to project his agenda, over PANDEF’s agenda.”