PANDEF Leaders in an Assembly
A new proposal has been made to the federal government of Nigeria for the maintaining of peace, development and progress of the Niger Delta region and Nigeria in general.
The Pan Niger Delta Forum PANDEF, an umbrella body of leaders of communities in the region submitted a fresh set of demands to a joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives Committees on the Niger Delta on Tuesday at the 4th General Assembly meeting of the group in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The group picks holes in the policy plan of the federal government for the region called the Strategic Implementation Work Plan SWIP observing that it was an ill-conceived and hurriedly baked plan which was bound to fail.
Chief Edwin Clark, Father of Niger Delta
The group said they allowed their 16 point agenda to be integrated into SWIP and accepted to work with the plan with mixed feelings and suspicions bearing in mind the volatile circumstances as at that time.
The group expressed their disappointment with the federal government for abandoning the whole plan they promised to implement for the development and peace of the region.
The spokesman for the group Ogoriba Timi Kaiser-Wilhelm said “PANDEF and stakeholders from the region wish to state that there was some initial reluctance by us to engage with Strategic Implementation Work Plan, but some argued for the region to test the sincerity of the federal government by accepting it. Although we knew it was a hurriedly conceived plan for the region”.
PANDEF with President Buhari in 2016
It would be recalled that PANDEF had in 2016 in the wake of the oil bombings and general insecurity in the Niger Delta intervene to quell the crisis by calming the frays of the youths who felt cheated and used by the government and oil companies operating in their communities.
The Umbrella body then fashioned out a 16 points agenda which it believed is the solution to securing permanent peace and development in the Niger Delta. The 16 points demand were: Presidential Amnesty Programme, law and justice, the effect of increased military presence in the Niger Delta, plights of internally displaced persons, the Ogoni clean-up and environmental remediation, the Maritime University issue, and key regional critical infrastructure.
PANDEF in the 4th Assembly
Others are: Security surveillance and protection of oil and gas infrastructure, relocation of Administrative and Operational Headquarters of IOCs, power supply, economic development and empowerment, inclusive participation in oil industry and ownership of oil blocs, restructuring and funding of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), strengthening of the Niger Delta Ministry, Bakassi question and fiscal federalism.