From Fred Itua, Abuja
A coalition of Niger Delta agitators have condemned leadership of Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), saying it has failed in the negotiation with the Federal Government to achieve acceptable level of social and economic prosperity for the region.
They also levelled the same blame on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as well as against the Minister of Niger Delta, Usani Oguru, accusing them of being insensitive to the plight of the people.
PANDEF, led by a former Federal Commissioner, Chief Edwin Clarke had, in November 2016, aggregated most challenges of the region in a 16-point demand and pressed it on the Federal Government for implementation.
In a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at Aso Presidential Villa, the forum said the implementation of the demands would form the panacea to the problems which would in turn ensure peace and tranquility in the troubled region. However, in a statement, released, the agitators said PANDEF, NDDC and the Niger Delta minister have failed them on every front of the negotiation.
They accused the Niger Delta structures of being docile in the agitation for power devolution and the restructuring of the country.
Signed by the representatives of nine different groups of the Niger Delta that formed the coalition, the statement also bemoaned the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, saying it was skewed under the military to favour the North against other ethnic regions in the country.
The groups and their representatives are General John Duku (Niger Delta Watchdogs) and convener Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators; General Ekpo Ekpo (Niger Delta Volunteers); General Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors); Major General Henry Okon Etete (Niger Delta Peoples Fighters); Major General Asukwo Henshaw (Bakassi Freedom Fighters); Major General Ibinabo Horsfall (Niger Delta Movement for Justice); Major General Duke Emmanson (Niger Delta Fighters Network); Major General Inibeghe Adams for Niger Delta Freedom Mandate and Major General Abiye Tariah for Niger Delta Development Network.