Niger Deltan coalition finally cancels October 1 quit notice to Yorubas, Hausas as crisis rocks agitation
The October 1 quit notice issued to the Hausas and Yorubas in the Niger Delta region of the country has been withdrawn by the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators.
This is as a factional group, Pan Niger Delta Peoples Congress (PNDPC), has warned that the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) led by Chief Edwin Clark has lost the mandate to speak for the people of the region.
NAIJ.comlearnt that the withdrawal was contained in a statement signed by 13 militant leaders.
The Punch reports that the militant leaders said they arrived at the decision after consultations with some stakeholders in the region.
The statement added that the militants also withdrew their threat to attack oil platforms and installations from September 10, 2017.
“After series of meetings yesterday between the high command of the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators led by General John Duku and the leadership of the Nigeria Ethnic Nationality Youth Leaders Forum led by the Acting National Chairman, Comrade Imoh Okoko, coupled with the intervention of Pan Niger Delta Forum, Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators, at yesterday’s meeting officially withdrew our quit notice issued to northerners and Yoruba living in the Niger Delta region,”the statement said.
The PNDPC is now asking the leaders of PANDEF to stop parading themselves as representatives of the Niger Delta in the ongoing negotiation with the government
The coordinator of media affairs of PNDPC, Chief Monday Whiskey, the group said:“We are not opposed to the Clark group - Pan Niger Delta Forum.
“To be fair to them, they started this current process but there are people who gave them the mandate – the ex-agitators.
“But somewhere along the line, these ex-agitators discovered that their method of operation was not in tandem with modern day realities.
“It is these ex-agitators who withdrew the mandate earlier given to PANDEF that gave the same mandate to us in the PNDPC to represent them at this stage of the negotiation.
“We are not fighting with Chief Edwin Clark because he is our father but when those whom you represent decide to change the pace of the dialogue, you have no choice but to obey those who gave you the mandate.
“The peace process belongs to the people of the Niger Delta; they nominated members of PANDEF in the first place. If they have withdrawn the nomination and given it to another group, of course the new group takes over.
“We are not confronting or fighting anybody or group. Do not forget that most of the leaders of the PNDPC are also members of PANDEF and for anybody to say the two groups are fighting each other over who speaks for the Niger Delta mean such persons lack proper information about the two groups.
“Agreed that PANDEF had submitted the 16-Point Agenda but it is left for the Federal Government to implement it or not.
“Government can only implement whatever you have submitted in a peaceful atmosphere. Government can also decide on the ways it wants to implement it.
“We are even looking beyond what PANDEF submitted because there are so many demands that were not included in that document. We are looking at the possibility of including more things.
“As far as the Pan Niger Delta Peoples Congress is concerned, we believe that the government will give us a better negotiating opportunity now because we believe in dialogue, we don’t believe in being hostile to the government.
“We strongly believe that it is only when government has the enabling environment that we can achieve the desired development in the region.”
NAIJ.com earlier reported that the Chief Edwin Clark-led PANDEFrecently called on the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators to revoke destructing oil and gas facilities as well as the quit notice to the Yoruba and northerners resident in the oil-rich region.
According to The Nation, the call, which was contained in a statement issued to journalists in Warri by Alfred Mulade , the PANDEF’s coordinating secretary, on Wednesday, August 6.
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