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Tuesday, 1 August 2017

The Niger Delta is set to boil if threats by leaders of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), led by Edwin Clark, is to be taken seriously.
Just a day after some Niger Delta militants issued a September 30 deadline, PANDEF has threatened to stall the Niger Delta peace process if its 16-point agenda for the volatile region is not given serious considerations by the Federal Government latest November 1.
The group warned that the patience of the people had been over tasked and that it could no longer guarantee peace in the region if things remained the way they were.
Leaders of the oil region of Niger Delta under the umbrella of PANDEF had on November 1, 2016 handed over to President Muhammadu Buhari during a meeting with the presidency, a 16-point agenda the group believed would address the troubling issues in the region.
PANDEV claims that about one year since that agenda was submitted to the Federal Government, nothing much has been done concerning it.
Speaking on the issue at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, the national leader/convener of PANDEF, Chief Edwin Clark, made known what the next move of the leaders of the region will be should the Federal Government fail to address its 16-point agenda and other promises it made to the people.
“I wish to urge the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, implement the pronouncements made by the acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, during his fact-finding visits to the Niger Delta region, and to set up, without delay, the Federal Government Dialogue Team to engage PANDEF, towards resolving the pending issues contained in the forum’s 16-point demand on behalf of the people of the Niger Delta region, by or before November 1, 2017 (one year anniversary of our meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari).
“Human endurance has a limit beyond which one cannot predict what the outcome will be. We submitted a 16-point demand to Mr. President on November 1, 2016, and we had expected that by its next anniversary, the 16-point agenda would have been comprehensively sorted out.
“If, at the expiration of the November 1, 2017 ultimatum, the Federal Government fails and/or refuses to accede to these lawful and legitimate demands of the Niger Delta people, PANDEF may consider pulling out of the ongoing peace process in the Niger Delta,” Clark said.
According to Clark, the present administration has so far failed to show it was really interested in the peace process not minding all the efforts leaders of the oil region had made and is still making to stabilise oil production and help the country out of recession.
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