By Emma Amaize
SENATOR Emmanuel Ebok- Essien has emerged as the new National Chairman of Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, which is the mouthpiece of monarchs, leaders and stakeholders of the coastal states of Niger Delta.
Senator Essien, who is also from Akwa Ibom state succeeds the former national chairman and ex-military administrator of Akwa Ibom state, late Idongesit Nkanga, who died of Covid 19 complications, last year.
His ratification and approval of the nomination of other national officials were contained in a communique signed by the national leader of PANDEF, Chief Edwin Clark and former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah after a meeting of the Board of Trustees, BoT, Wednesday, in Abuja.
As Senator representing Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District between 1999 and 2003 and Senate Deputy Chief Whip, the new PANDEF chair was one of the strong advocates for resource control and strong supporter of the fight against the obnoxious onshore/offshore dichotomy in the distribution of the nation’s oil revenue.
He is the first Akwa Ibom legislator to be elected into the ECOWAS Parliament and is expected to deploy his verse knowledge acquired, over the years, to move the regional group, South-South, Niger Delta and the country forward.
The BoT also approved the nominations and elections of His Royal Majesty, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, CFR, former Military Governor of old Rivers State and His Excellency, Arc (Obong) Victor Attah, CON, former Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State as co-chairmen of PANDEF BoT.
Chief T. K Okorotie from Bayelsa state was confirmed as Deputy National Chairman, Hon Bello Bina, National Youth Leader, Chief (Dr.) Whiskey Ayakeme, National Director of Research and Chief Kalaiti Jephthah, ex-officio member, national NEC.