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Meet our demands to save economy, PANDEF tells Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari PHOTO: BAYO OMOBORIOWO


• Wants MoU on Katsina refinery made public
•Denies meeting S’South govs on facility

The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to implement the 16-point demand presented to him to avert disruption of the country’s economy.National Publicity Secretary of the group, Chief Anabs Sara-Igbe, said there was growing anger in Niger Delta over failure of Federal Government to implement the demands.

As part of peace building moves initiated by PANDEF to stem attacks on oil and gas installations by Niger Delta Avengers, leaders in the region, under the aegis of PANDEF, had submitted the demands to President Buhari on the 1st of November 2016 in Abuja.

“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,” Sara-Igbe said.

According to PANDEF, the people of Niger Delta believe strongly in restructuring of the country to achieve equitable economic and infrastructural development.Sara-Igbe told The Guardian that only one of the demands, which is the take-off of the Nigeria Maritime University in Okerenkoko, Delta State, had been implemented.

The Niger Delta leaders appealed to the executive and legislative arms of the Federal Government to give priority to peace and security of lives and property.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.

Also yesterday, 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.

The group said it was imperative to release the document to enable Nigerians see its advantages and disadvantages to the country.Sara-Igbe told The Guardian in Port Harcourt that if the plan was to sell the existing refineries in Rivers and Kaduna, the Niger Delta people would resist the move with the last drop of their blood.

“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. If God wants to punish some people, he will just make them mad.”

The PANDEF’s spokesman disassociated the group from reports that it attended a meeting with governors of the South South states in Asaba over the proposed $2 billion Katsina refinery.“PANDEF is not aware of such meeting, neither did it hold any meeting with the governors of South South states in Asaba and issued any communiqué that was read by the governor of Akwa Ibom State,” Sara-Igbe said.


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Muhammadu Buhari‎PANDEF
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