By Emmanuel Ayungbe
UYO—Akwa Ibom State chapter of Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, yesterday rose from a meeting in Uyo, the state capital, with a call on the Federal Government to establish cattle colonies in the vast Sambisa forest which the military had recovered from Boko Haram terrorists.
The forum, in a communiqué by Senator Anietie Okon, Senator Ibok Essien, Nduenso Essien, Dr. Effiong Edunam and Prof. Brenda Akpan, said that the recovered territory was large enough to accommodate all the cattle and herdsmen in Nigeria.
The forum which is an umbrella body of oil producing Niger Delta states, warned that it would not allow the creation of cattle colonies in any state in the Niger Delta region.
The group rather called on the Federal Government to listen to the voices of Nigerians on restructuring the country which it said would put an end to the myriads of problems facing the country, including the incessant killings of innocent citizens by Fulani herdsmen.
The forum sympathised with the people and government of Benue State over the recent massacre of its people by Fulani herdsmen.
They frowned at the lack of political will by the Federal Government to bring the situation to an end.
The forum expressed concern over the upgrading of the Maritime Academic by the Federal Government and urged it to expedite action on upgrading the institution to a full-fledge University of Maritime Studies as approved by the previous administration.
The communiqué further backed Governor Udom Emmanuel’s call for increased allocation to the state and full implementation of the 13 per cent derivation.
The forum said that recent happenings in the country had compelled the people of the region to come together to pursue a common course for the betterment of the state, stressing, “United we stand and divided we fall may be very old but still very relevant. If we must succeed, we have to come together and speak with one voice.”