N/Delta lead­ers threaten to dump FG peace talks

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Saawua Terzungwe

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.”

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