The National Chairman, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), retired Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga has urged the Federal Government to implement the 16 point-agenda it presented to the government in 2016.
Nkanga, a former military administrator of Akwa Ibom, said this at the inaugural meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of PANDEF in Uyo on Monday.
According to him, insensitivity of government toward the myriad of problems in the oil producing region has been the cause of the ongoing agitations for restructuring.
He said if true federalism was being practiced in Nigeria, the agitations for restructuring would be reduced.
“And I believe you are aware that PANDEF came into being in 2016, when we tried to put together solutions to the problems of the Niger Delta.
“And when PANDEF first met with the president on Nov. 1, 2016, we presented a 16-point agenda to him. The copies of that are already in the public domain.
“That was supposed to be a working paper. And it was as a result of that the Vice President visited the Niger Delta states.
“If the Federal Government has been following what it promised, by now you would have seen tremendous progress in the region,” Nkanga said.
He, however, said that PANDEF, described as the voice of the South-South, was working with the South East, South West and Middle Belt regions to ensure the country returned to operating fiscal and true federalism.
According to him, fiscal and true federalism remain the only solution to the unending marginalisation of the Niger Delta region.
The chairman said that a mega rally on restructuring would be held in the South East and the Middle Belt regions soon, adding that arrangement was being put in place to organise a joint rally involving the four regions in May.
“Then the Mother of the Rally will come before May 29, to tell the story of restructuring, particularly in this country.
“We are doing this to enlighten the people. So many Nigerians do not yet understand what restructuring is all about and some mischief makers are taking advantage of it.
“The issue of restructuring is so very important and this committee must put that in focus.
“For us in the Niger Delta region, we cannot afford to look the other way on restructuring because the first pillar of it, fiscal federalism is something that is biting us very hard.”