- Chief Clark says efforts are underway by his organization PANDEF to ensure that the militants' grievances are addressed
- He states that PANDEF had to intervene to prevent any disaster from occurring
- The elder statesman appealed to the militants to give peace a chance for the good of the region
Niger Delta militant group, New Delta Avengers, has been urged to withdraw the ultimatum it issued to the governor of Delta state, Ifeanyi Okowa.
The militants had told Okowa to publicly disclose how much was due to the Delta State Oil Producing Communities Development Commission (DESOPADEC) from the 13 per cent derivation given the state by the federal government.
According to reports, the appeal to the militants was made in a statement released in Abuja by the leader of Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) Chief Edwin Clark.
Clark stated that efforts were already underway to ensure that all issues raised by the militants in their 16-point agenda are addressed.
He said: “PANDEF is genuinely disturbed by this publication, which has come amidst the prevailing turmoil occasioned by some ethnic agitations in the country.
“Going by the allegations being canvassed by the New Delta Avengers, coupled with their threat of destruction of our vital national assets, PANDEF cannot afford to fold its arms, but has to quickly intervene and sue for the understanding of all to desist from any form of destructive action, as this will further bring more damage to the already degraded economic and environmental conditions we suffer in the region.”
The statement noted the various steps that PANDEF was taking to address the militant’s concerns.
These included pipeline surveillance and relocation of oil companies’ headquarters to the Niger Delta region etc.
Clark added: “It is on this note that I wish to appeal to you, my dear children of the New Delta Avengers and all other groups, on behalf of PANDEF, to withdraw your ultimatum and give peace a chance because any action taken by you/us, will no doubt have adverse national consequences and may jeopardize the seemingly good intentions of the Federal Government for the region.”
Recall that NAIJ.com had previously reported that the New Delta Avengers challenged the Delta state governor Patrick Okowa to give account of the 13 percent federal government allocation which he received on behalf of the state in the last two years.
Okowa was asked to explain how the money was used to the benefit of the oil producing communities within the state, especially the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC).
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