By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South & Emem Idio
WARRI—Reformed Niger Delta Avengers RNDA, Reformed Egbesu Assembly, REF, and Niger Delta Creek Lords, reiterated, yesterday, that the Pan Niger Delta Congress, PNDPC and not Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, is now the dependable voice of the Niger Delta region.
PANDEF is led by Chief Edwin Clark, while PNDPC is led by former national chairman of Traditional Rulers of Oil Minerals Producing Communities of Nigeria, TROMPCON and paramount ruler of Seimbiri Kingdom, His Majesty Charles Ayemi-Botu.
Convener of the coalition of nine militant groups and leader of RNDA opposed to PANDEF and Clark, self-styled “Major General Johnmark Ezonbi, in a statement, said: “The decision to change the leadership of the region under Clark, was informed by the need to do away with the old brigade and refocus the region.
“Chief Clark is too old and should have remained an opinion leader, rather than take up such responsibility when he was among those who created the under-development in the region.
”He cannot continue to hold the region to ransom and more painful to note is that most of PANDEF members had held various positions, but did not do any meaningful thing for the region. Some held positions in NDDC but go to their communities and see, look at their private property, you will see life wickedness.
“Why did they not form PANDEF when Jonathan was President? They were at the corridors of power? Contracts and other decisions were taken at their Abuja house for themselves.
“We reaffirm our position that the Clark-led PANDEF, can no longer enter into negotiations with the Federal Government on behalf of the region because PANDEF members are made up of people, who could be best described as idols of underdevelopment in the Niger Delta,” he said.
Commander, REF, comprising the Reformed Egbesu Assembly, Egbesu Red Water Lions , ERWL, Egbesu Mightier Fraternity, EMF and the Egbesu Marine Commandoez, “General” Tony Alagbakereowei added “Nature abhors vacuum, hence REA having withdrawn its mandate from PANDEF and Clark, now endorses HM Ayemi Botu to lead the Niger Delta under the platform of the Niger Delta Peoples’ Congress and by this mandate, the Federal Government, ministries, departments and agencies are to note accordingly.
“The new leadership should see this development as freedom and liberty to associate and nurture fruitful ideas as well as review the 16 point agenda to incorporate 13 per cent Derivation and other matters.”
Meanwhile, Niger Delta Creek Lords, in a statement by “Capt.” Agbakumo after a meeting in Warri, said “We are affirming our support for Loyibo- coordinated PNDPC and the reasons are that Clark as our father has tried so far, and as his children, we advise him to retire and provide advisory services, not to lead discussions anymore.”