THE Pan Niger Delta Forum has said it will no longer beg the Federal Government to be committed to the growth of the Niger Delta region
It however added that it would continue to speak to youths of the area to remain peaceful in the face of the insensitivity of the Federal Government to its plight.
Speaking in an interview with The PUNCH, the spokesman for the forum, Mr Ken Robinson, lamented that the roads in the region were still in decrepit state, adding that most of the content of the 16-point agenda its presented to the Federal Government had not be addressed.
Robinson stated that PANDEF had decided to draw the attention of the world to the insensitivity of government to issues concerning the region, adding that while the forum had called on government to move the operational offices/headquarters of international oil companies to Niger Delta, such appeal had been ignored.
He said, “The attitude of the leadership of the Pan Niger Delta Forum is that we are no longer appealing to the government, but we have not stopped appealing to our youths. We have told them that violent actions are not in our best interest and in spite of the insensitivity of the government, they still reason with us.
“Recently, I drove from Port Harcourt to Abuja and from Port Harcourt to Warri, to Benin; the roads are in shambles, almost impassable and we are part of Nigeria. So, why should we continue to appeal to government to carry out its responsibility to the people; for how long?
“We presented these issues of relocation of IOCs operational offices to areas of operations. These are genuine demands that we think will bring about sustainable peace and development in the area and boost economic activities in the Niger Delta. It will also make the people have a sense of belonging that this is our country and that the country cares about us.”
Robinson expressed delight that the elders in some parts of country, including those from the oil-rich region, had taken steps to sue the Federal Government over the imbalance in the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
Luckily, the court action is not just the Niger Delta people, but persons from the Middle Belt, persons from the South-West and persons from the South-East,” he said.