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Sustained peace in N’Delta elusive as RNDA insists Nigerian govt must end talks with PANDEF



Apparent calm evident in the Niger Delta may evaporate as the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA), and coalition of nine other militant groups have vowed to resume hostility in the oil region should the Federal Government continue talks with Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) on behalf of the people.

In a statement released by the leader of the coalition of militant groups, self-styled ‘Major General’ Johnmark Ezonbi, the group cautioned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to distance itself from negotiating with Chief Edwin Clark-led PANDEF or risk fresh and coordinated attack on oil installations in the region.

The group insisted that it has rejected PANDEF, adding that the Clark-led group no longer enjoy support of stakeholders in the region and must not continue to speak for them. According to them, all negotiation for the region should be with Pan Niger Delta People’s Congress (PNDPC).

“RNDA, with the coalition of other militant groups in the region, wishes to call on President Muhammadu Buhari not to have anything to do with the PANDEF group, as they cannot speak or negotiate with the Federal Government on behalf of the Niger Delta region.

“The coalition will be forced to resume hostilities in the creeks in a well coordinated approach, if the Federal Government enters into any discussion with PANDEF, as the group no longer enjoys the blessing and support of militants and stakeholders in the region.

“The Federal Government should enter into fresh talks with the Pan Niger Delta People’s Congress headed by HRM Pere Charles Ayemi -Botu, other respected traditional rulers and stakeholders of the region, including Rev Dr Mike Emuh, the national chairman of HOSTCOM and High Chief Dr. Francis Inegbeniki representing Edo State.

“The proposed PANDEF meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, scheduled for today, has put paid to speculation that the group was an arm of a failed political party with the calibre of persons invited former governors, former ministers, former senators and former House of Representatives members from the Niger Delta,” the statement read.

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Clark, a former Federal Commissioner for Information, ex- governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah and others, have continuously asked people to disregard the militants, insisting that PANDEF remains the authentic voice of the Niger Delta.

Earlier in the week, Rivers State leader of PANDEF, Alabo Graham Douglas, had ahead the forum’s fourth session in Port Harcourt, urged the youths and agitators in the oil region to be patient with the elders. He had promised that the Federal Government was committed to the development of the region.



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