PANDEF seeks security arrangement for South South, alleges existential threat
– Delta leaders task governors on insecurity
The Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) at the weekend urged governors of the South-South to set up a regional security outfit such as Amotekun that has been successfully initiated by their South West counterparts to address insecurity in the region.
At an expanded national executive committee meeting in Benin City, Edo State leadership of PANDEF said efforts to foster unity, lasting peace, security and sustainable development of the Niger Delta region for the benefit of present and future generations should be given priority attention, adding that the Niger Delta was under existential threat.
National Chairman of PANDEF, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (rtd), who decried the poor state of critical infrastructure in the Niger Delta, enjoined the federal and state governments to take urgent steps to address the dearth of infrastructure in the region.
He stressed the need for the completion of all sections of the East-West road, as well as the commencement of work on the coastal road and railway from Lagos to Calabar.
In a communiqué at the end of the national executive committee meeting, he cautioned against the plan by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to divert the Floating Dock that was to be sited at Okerenkoko in Delta State.
“PANDEF considers the plan as another attempt to further deny the region of the much-needed economic boost and critical training component in support of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko,” he said.
Nkanga appealed to governors of the South-South states to reactivate the Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta (BRACED) Commission to facilitate socio-economic development of the region.
He restated PANDEF’s position on restructuring of the country, urging the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, begin a constructive dialogue process on the restructuring of the country to guarantee harmonious and peaceful coexistence.
Meanwhile, leaders of ethnic nationalities in Delta North Senatorial District have urged governors of the South-South geopolitical zone to unite and form a security outfit to compliment the Police and other security agencies to tackle insecurity and protect lives and property in the region.
They stated this at a meeting with Special Adviser to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Rural and Community Development, Emmanuel Okoro and Presidents-General Association (ACPGA) of Anioma Community Clans in Asaba.
Chairman of the association, Justice Sylvester Ehiwario (rtd), urged immediate actions in that direction, saying it was not too late for the governors to commence action as other regions in the country have taken such bold initiatives by setting up their local security outfits.
Also, President of Asaba Development Union (A.D.U) Women’s wing, Chinwe Olarewaju, who spoke on behalf of the women, appealed for more women participation in governance at all levels.
Responding, Okoro harped the need for the community leaders to support the Governor Okowa administration for peace, security and for investors to come to the state, saying, “For development to be sustained, every community must ensure that they observe law and order to make society conducive for development.”