BY ISAAC OLAMIKAN
The Pan Niger Delta Peoples Congress (PNDPC) has reacted to the recent threat by the Niger Delta Avengers(NDA) to resume hostilities.
In an electronic statement sent to the Post and signed by its leader and chairman Strategic Committee, His Royal Majesty, King Charles Ayemi Botu and His Royal Majesty, Okpoitari Diongoli respectively, PNDPC said that’s the authentic body “saddled with a fresh mandate by the agitators to enter into dialogue with the Federal Government on their behalf.
“PNDPC led by His Majesty King Charles Ayemi-Butu Pere of Simbiri Kingdom Delta State, views the current development leading to the threat to suspend ceasefire by the Niger Delta Avengers as worrisome and avoidable.
“Consistent with its mandate, the PNDPC is willing to constructively engage the Federal Government with a view to amicably resolving the current impasse to achieve sustainable peace and development of the Niger Delta Region.”
While describing as regrettable the inability of the authorities to implement agreements reached with the people of the Niger Delta,
PNDPC calls on the agitators to sheath their swords to allow for a conducive atmosphere for peaceful negotiations.
“This is imperative because of the dire consequences the resumed attack on oil and gas facilities would have on the economy of the country and the far reaching environmental hazards it will have on both the ecosystem and the livelihood of the people.
“Therefore further delay by the authorities to open dialogue with all critical stakeholders under the auspices of the Pan Niger Delta Peoples Congress may lead to a repeat of the ugly incident of last year which led to the crippling of the Nation’s Oil and Gas Industry which is the live wire of the Nation’s Economy.
“PNDPC wishes to draw the attention of the Federal Government to the fact that in the past some self- styled leaders who claimed to be speaking for the genuine agitators have rather betrayed and commercialized the core objectives of the Niger Delta struggle for parochial interests at the expense of the collective interest of the people the region.
“It is this betrayal and the unfulfilled promises that have given rise to the recurring threat to the fragile peace within the Region and distortions experience in the Oil and Gas Industry and by implications crippled the Nation’s Economy.
“PNDPC wishes to draw attention to the fact that some government officials are allegedly working in tandem with some agitators and this has not helped the peace process.
“It is therefore imperative for a coordinated approach to be adopted using a broad based organization such as the Pan Niger Delta Peoples Congress which is the authentic body with the mandate to immediately kick start the long overdue dialogue to achieve sustainable growth and development in the region,”it stated.
On the botched meeting of the PANDEF in Port Harcourt recently, PNDPC stated: “We wish to correct the insinuations in certain quarters that we had a hand in the botched Conference of PANDEF in Port-Harcourt, emphasizing that it is a mere figment of the imagination of those blaming PNDPC for their own predicament largely due to ineffective leadership style, improper planning and parochial interest.
“The body describes the allegations as infantile and laughable without any iota of truth and enjoined PANDEF to leave out PNDPC from its predicament.
“PNDPC is a credible organization peopled by senior citizens of the Niger Delta including the clergy, traditional rulers, academia, politicians, the body of agitators etc and understand that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guarantees the rights of individuals or groups to association or freedom of speech can therefore not to be part of a ploy under any guise to prevent the Port-Harcourt meeting from holding.
“PNDPC shall continue to play its role as an arbiter between the genuine agitations and the Federal Government to achieve lasting solution in the region.”
BY ISAAC OLAMIKAN