Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has rejected the 3% Equity Participation for host communities in the just-passed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by the National Assembly.
The body warned that unrest is likely to persist in the Niger Delta region as a result of the failure of the government to meet the acceptable minimum demand of the people.
This was stated at the end of the Forum’s meeting in Abuja on Friday.
It said that the Niger Delta people bear the brunt of the consequences of the oil and gas industry operations in their lands and therefore deserve more.
“PANDEF recalls, and reiterates, that Host Communities, of the Niger Delta Region, had demanded 10% Equity participation, as against the percentages just passed by the National Assembly and maintains its long-held logical demand that, unless stakeholders of the Oil and Gas Host Communities are given sufficient rights in the management and operation of the industry, conflicts in the oil-rich region may persist,” it said.
It also warned of the “consequences of ignoring, or treating with contempt, the 16-Point Agenda presented to President Muhammadu Buhari, on 1st November 2016.”
It added: “Currently, the youth in the Niger Delta have declared a ‘vote of no confidence’ on PANDEF, because it was the leaders of the region that stayed their hand when, in frustration, they had decided to cripple the national economy, in 2016.”
The communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, signed by Chief (Dr.) E. K. Clark, National Leader and Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, National Chairman restated its support to restructure the country, even as the group insisted that Nigeria cannot continue in the present trajectory of a flawed Constitution and undemocratic tendencies of those operating it.
It condemned “the brutal and bloody midnight raid on the residence of a Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, in the Soka area of Ibadan, Oyo State, by agents of the Department of State Services (DSS), in a Gestapo manner, during which innocent citizens were killed and properties destroyed.”
PANDEF said it is in solidarity with Afenifere, and the South-West people and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to call to order his security agencies and cease all forms of flagrant abuse of power.
The communiqué called on the Federal Government to tell Nigerians “the truth of the process which led to the abduction of the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, and his clandestine, forceful repatriation to Nigeria,” expressing the hope that he would be given a fair and open trial.
It warned that the reported identification of sponsors of Nnamdi Kanu should not be an alibi to witch-hunt and persecute phantom enemies imagined by the government.
PANDEF also expressed solidarity with the people of the Middle Belt region, who have been at the receiving end of a brutal physical attacks and seeming plans to destroy their every means of livelihood, by suspected Fulani gunmen.”