The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) yesterday convened an emergency meeting to address the rising tension in the region, particularly the threat by the Niger Delta Avengers to commence "operation zero economy" and to ground oil related activities in Delta State.
The meeting which was attended by leaders from the six states of the region and chaired by Ijaw national leader Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, pleaded with the Niger Delta Avengers not to carry out their threat but to give the leaders time to persuade the Federal Government to act on the 16 demands it submitted to the presidency in November 2016.
The forum said the issue of restructuring was now a do or die affair saying that a mega rally will hold in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, in March 2018, for which a committee chaired by Prof. G.G. Darah and co-chaired by Amb. Godknows Igali was set up, to sensitive the people in the region on restructuring.
The leaders chided the Federal Government for the slow pace with which it continued to handle matters pertaining to the region, especially the implementation of the 16-point agenda submitted to the presidency on November 1, 2016.
They expressed worry that plans were being concluded to issue licenses for modular refineries without corresponding participation from stakeholders in the Niger Delta region.
They also rejected the idea of setting up cattle colonies around the country and advised the Federal Government to handle the sensitive matter with tact.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has said that its Coordinator, Brigadier-General Paul Boroh (rtd), who is also the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta still retains his position and was not relieved of his duties.
A statement in Abuja yesterday by Owen Lakemfa, Head, Media and Communication at the PAP said "There is no iota of truth in these rumours as General Boroh remains at his duty posts carrying out the duties and tasks assigned him by President Muhammadu Buhari who appointed him."