…Rejects Biafra struggle
From: TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
A regional group in the South-South, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), has maintained that restructuring is the panacea for tackling the lingering crisis across the country.
PANDEF has also declared that it did not support Biafra’s secession struggle, but believes in the unity of the nation.
One of the chieftains of the non-political group, Chief Anabs Sara-Igbe, made the statements yesterday, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Sara-Igbe stated: “As PANDEF, we have made our position clear. We want restructuring; we want resource control and ownership; we want power devolution.
” If the country is restructured, we have 10 years to develop. We don’t want derivation any more. We want restructuring of this country; true federalism. A lot of the laws should be changed.
“We do not believe in dividing the country. We do not support Biafra; we are not for Biafra. We believe in one Nigeria”, Sara-Igbe stressed on behalf of PANDEF.
Commenting on the revocation of the October 1, 2017, Quit notice given to the Yorubas and Northerners, by the Niger Delta militants, PANDEF said it prevailed of the agitators to withdraw the order, in the interest of development in the region.
The group pointed out that Niger Delta agitators gave the notice on the heels of similar exit mandate given to the Igbo people living in the North by the Arewa youths.
Sara-Igbe explained: “When Arewa youths gave the Igbo that mandate, PANDEF condemned it. It was in line with that, that Niger Delta boys gave the quit notice because everybody from the South is seen as ‘Yamiri’ by the North.
“PANDEF believes in one Nigeria. We believe that, if you attack anybody from the South, it is an affront to our people from the Southern part of the country. That was why our boys gave that quit notice.
“But, at this critical moment, we want Niger Delta to be peaceful. We are looking forward to attracting foreign investors into the country.
“As a group, we have decided that there should be a level playing ground to allow business to thrive in the region”.
PANDEF further demanded that at the expiration of oil bloc licences in 2019, Niger Delta people should be allowed to be ” involved and participate in oil ownership”.
Sara-Igbe emphasised: “We are not going to be confrontational. We are going to use diplomacy to achieve what we want”.