The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has expressed concern about the growing anger in Niger Delta and the need for the federal government to implement its demand to avert disruption of the country’s economy.
It would be recalled that PANDEF had submitted a 16-point demand to the government to President Muhammadu Buhari on November 1, 2016 in Abuja as part of peace building moves initiated by PANDEF to stem attacks on oil and gas installations by Niger Delta Avengers.
However, the national publicity secretary of the group, Mr. Anabs Sara-Igbe said the government had failed to implement the demands.
“The people of Niger Delta are not happy with the present administration for the failure to fully implement the 16- point agenda, as well as address the plight of the people. Our people are known to be peaceful, accommodating and most friendly in the country, but when pushed to the wall, may react dangerously and deadly,” he said.
He said the region believes strongly in restructuring of the country to achieve equitable economic and infrastructural development.
He said only one of the demands, which is the take-off of the Nigeria Maritime University in Okerenkoko, Delta State, had been implemented.
Among PANDEF’s demands are: continuation of the presidential amnesty programme; fiscal federalism; development of a deep seaport in Gbaramantu; demilitarisation of Niger Delta; resumption of the establishment of export processing zone comprising of gas city project at Ogidigben; implementation of the Ogoni clean up and environmental remediation; and inclusive participation (of Niger Delta people) in oil industry and ownership of oil blocks.
PANDEF asked the federal government to make public the memorandum of understanding (MoU) it signed with Niger Republic for the building of a new refinery in Katsina State.
Sara-Igbe said it was imperative to release the document to enable Nigerians see its advantages and disadvantages to the deal.
He said if the plan was to sell the existing refineries in Rivers and Kaduna, the Niger Delta people would resist such move.
“When their environment is polluted by this move, then they will have the feelings of what we are shouting here. The core north will know that oil production is not an easy experience. They will know that the Niger Deltans are not mad when they shout,” he said.