…Gives conditions to support of parties, candidates
By Emma Amaize, Editor, South-South
UYO— PAN-NIGER Delta Forum, PANDEF, the umbrella body of traditional rulers, elders, leaders and stakeholders of the coastal states of Niger Delta, has warned that the people of the region will “vehemently resist” any attempt to make use of “federal might” to subvert the will of Niger Delta people in the 2019 general election.File: PANDEF
The group in a communiqué issued at the end of PANDEF/South-South Stakeholders Consultative meeting in Uyo, said it would “support only parties and candidates that align with the call for restructuring of the country.’’
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It added that the political parties and candidates must sign an irrevocable agreement with the people of Niger Delta before December 31, 2018.
National Chairman of PANDEF and former military governor of Akwa Ibom State, Air Commodore Idongensit Nkanga (retd.); Deputy National Chairman, Chief Francis Doukpola, and National Secretary, Dr. Alfred Mulade, were among the top officials who signed the communiqué.
The communiqué reads: “Governors of the South-South zone not to be distracted by the antics of enemies of the zone as the people are with them. We hereby state the firm resolve of the people of South South region to resist any act of intimidation and aggression against the state governments and the people or any attempt to make us slaves in a country that has been built with our resources and sweat.
“PANDEF calls on the public and the international community to hold the Federal Government, Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris and Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Musa Kimo, responsible for any breach of peace in Akwa Ibom State, and other states in the South-South zone.
“Security agencies in the country should refrain from all partisan acts and focus on their primary roles of defending the territorial integrity of the country, and securing the lives and property of all Nigerians.’’
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The regional body commended the governors of the South-South states for their efforts at “improving the lot of the people despite the harsh economic and political realities.’’
PANDEF, however, reaffirmed the commitment of the people of the South-South geopolitical zone to the unity, peace, and progress of Nigeria, rested on the principles of fairness, equity, and justice.
The meeting observed with dismay “the recent assault on democracy in Akwa Ibom State and extension in Nigeria, by the police at the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, whereby the police flagrantly and illegally used its powers to truncate the activities of the legislature.”