Bayelsa guesses

…houses the forum’s headquarters

By Samuel Oyadongha

YENAGOA BAYELSA State Governor Senator Douye Diri has urged the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) not to interfere in partisan politics but to remain focused on protecting the collective interests of the Niger Delta region.

Diri stated this when the PANDEF manager under the leadership of its chairman, Senator Emmanuel Ibok-Essien, visited him in Yenagoa.

He commended the efforts of PANDEF leaders and other stakeholders, especially Elder Statesman Edwin Clark for demonstrating leadership over the years on issues affecting the region.

In a statement from its Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, the Governor acknowledged that PANDEF had made commendable efforts for the region’s growth and development.

His words: “PANDEF is an apolitical body. I recommend that it stay that way so that its integrity remains intact.

“PANDEF is a voice in the Niger Delta and in Nigeria, contributing to the growth and development of our region. We appreciate the leaders for the role they play in stabilizing the Niger Delta and the Nigerian state.

“We also appreciate our elder statesman, Dad Edwin Clark, who has led PANDEF.

“Our leaders have been at the forefront of our struggles and agitations and raised the issues from time to time. So far we have not achieved our desired goals, but we must continue to fight for what is rightfully ours.”

Diri also assured PANDEF of his government’s continued support and instructed the Ministry of Lands and Housing to provide appropriate accommodation for the body’s headquarters in Bayelsa.

“The Niger Delta needs to have a voice that works for us on a national level. The forum must have synergy with administrators. We used to have the BRACED (Bayelsa Rivers Akwa Ibom Cross River Edo and Delta) Commission, which is in a coma, but God willing, we will get it going again,” he said.

Earlier, PANDEF National President, Senator Emmanuel Ibok-Essien, praised Diri for his administration’s impressive progress in infrastructure development and for supporting Bayelsans, particularly during the floods.

Senator Ibok-Essien, who said a 16-point agenda had been presented to President Muhammadu Buhari, also highlighted a number of issues plaguing the Niger Delta region.

They include the plight of internally displaced people, National Water Bill, real federalism, oil pollution, among others.

A minute of silence was observed in honor of the former National Chairman of PANDEF, the late Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (rtd) and the late Deputy National Chairman, Chief Francis Doukpola.

The post Stay Impartial, Diri Tells PANDEF appeared first on Vanguard News.


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