By Emma Amaize
WARRI—REPRESENTATIVE of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, on the Inter-ministerial Committee on Niger Delta, Comrade Donben Donyegha, yesterday, said the recent threat by the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, RNDA, to attack oil facilities if the Federal Government continues negotiation with the Chief Edwin Clark-led group, was an act of cowardice.
The Niger Delta activist in a statement said: “It is cowardice because PANDEF is the common voice that cuts across all the ethnic nationalities of the region.
“I have been following the recent events in social and print media and the way some desperate Niger Delta indigenes are disgracing themselves by forming another group known as Pan Niger Delta People’s Congress, PNDPC, because of their selfish interest.
“This new body should realise that it has no base and also in a mission to destroy the existing cordial relationship the Federal Government has with PANDEF. They will regret if the Federal Government does not take the people of Niger Delta seriously.
“I also use the media to tell HRM Ayemi-Botu and Chief Mike Loyibo to stop this parallel move and come back to PANDEF so we can all engage the Federal Government to achieve the purpose of the 16-point demands given to the Federal Government.
“I am giving this advice because other ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta are watching the Ijaw and if care is not taken, the whole process will be like the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, episode.”
Dongheya said there was no need for the current muscle flexing against PANDEF leaders, adding: “Government is listening to them up to the point of opening of Nigerians Maritime University, NMU, Okerenkoko, latest by October and issues like pipeline surveillance jobs to be given directly to oil and gas producing communities, establishment of modular refineries and making sure the seaports in the Niger Delta come back to operation.
“The Federal Government should also refrain from its recent lopsided appointment of key officers in Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and practise the spirit of equity in its appointments in the corporation. Indigines of Niger Delta should be given priority.”