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PANDEF: PIB Falls Short Of The Expectations Of Niger Delta People



President Muhammadu Buhari

Decries Abandonment Of Critical Infrastructural Projects In The Region

Calls On National Assembly To Accelerate Amendment Of Electoral Act With Provisions For Electronic Voting

Condemns Raid On Sunday Igboho’s Residence

By Daniel Dafe, Abraka

The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Friday, said that ”the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, passed by both the Senate and House of Representatives, on Thursday, 1st July 2021, falls short of the expectations of the Niger Delta people, who bear the brunt of the consequences of the oil and gas industry operations in their lands.”

This was contained in a communiqué issued after an extraordinary meeting on Thursday, 1st and Friday, 2nd July 2021, on critical matters of national and regional concern, in Nigeria.

PANDEF recalled in the said communiqué signed by Chief (Dr.) E. K. Clark, OFR, CON, National Leader and Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, FNSE, National Chairman, that host communities, of the Niger Delta region, had demanded 10% Equity participation, as against the percentages just passed by the National Assembly and maintained that unless stakeholders of the Oil and Gas Host Communities are given sufficient rights in the management and operation of the industry, conflicts in the oil-rich region may persist.

Continuing, the body restated its position on the restructuring of the country, and insists that ”Nigeria cannot continue in the present trajectory of a flawed Constitution and undemocratic tendencies of those operating it.”

Furthermore, PANDEF called on the National Assembly ”to accelerate the Amendment of the Electoral Act, with provisions for Electronic Voting, before the 2023 General Elections, to guarantee free, fair and credible elections,” saying that ”anything otherwise remains grossly unacceptable.”

They also decried ”the continued neglect, even outright abandonment, of critical infrastructural projects in the Niger Delta Region, by the Federal Government, such as the East-West Road; the Gas Revolution Industrial Park, Ogidigben and the Omadinor-Escravos Road projects both in Delta State; the Calabar – Ikot Ekpene Road; amongst several others.”

PANDEF also strongly condemned the unending span of an Interim Management for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), adding that this is to the detriment of the region and warned that the situation threatens the peace and stability of the region.

The group therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute the Board and Management of the NDDC, in line with the Act establishing the Commission, without any further delay.

While restating PANDEF’s commitment to sustaining collaborations with similar groups and organizations in the country to achieve national consensus on the numerous thorny issues confronting the country, the body promised to engage with all critical stakeholders of the Niger Delta Region, irrespective of political inclinations, in its efforts to foster unity, lasting peace, security and sustainable development of the Region, for the benefit of the present and future generations.

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Meanwhile, the group condemned the raid on the residence of a Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, in the Soka area of Ibadan, Oyo State, by agents of the Department of State Services, DSS.

PANDEF called on President Buhari ”to immediately call to order the security agencies and cease all forms of flagrant abuse of power.”

They also cautioned that the reported identification of sponsors of Nnamdi Kanu, should not be an alibi to witch-hunt and persecute phantom enemies imagined by the government.

In attendance at the Meeting, which was held at the Abuja residence of PANDEF National Leader and former Federal Minister of information, Chief Senator Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, OFR, CON, were the National Chairman, Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, FNSE; members of the Board of Trustees; members of National and State Executive Committees, as well as key stakeholders of the Niger Delta Region, including: Chief Hon. T. K. Okorotie, OFR, PANDEF Deputy National Chairman; Rt. Hon. Nduese Essien, former Minister of Housing, Lands and Urban Development; Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw, former Chairman, NDDC; Senator Inatimi Rufus-Spiff, former Secretary to the Government of Rivers State; Chief Mrs. Betty Igbeyi, mni, PANDEF National Woman Leader; Dr. Mrs. Rose Obuoforibo, former Resident Electoral Commissioner, Edo State; Chief Mrs. Olivia Agbajoh, former Member Federal House of Representatives; Chief Dr. Sir Ominimini Obiuwevwi, former Commissioner, DESOPADEC; among others.


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