By Emma Amaize & Henry Umoru
ABUJA—THE Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, led by Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, yesterday, pleaded with members of New Delta Avengers to withdraw the ultimatum of June 30, issued to the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to compel Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State to tell the world how much was due to the Delta State Oil Producing Communities Develop-ment Commission, DESOPADEC, from the 13 percent derivation.
The New Delta Avengers had also given an ultimatum to the governor to convene a meeting of stakeholders and leaders of all oil and gas producing communities in the state, among others.
In a statement in Abuja, Chief Clark said it was already working to ensure that all the issues raised in the 16-point agenda were looked into by the Federal Government and that the Avengers’ concerns will be addressed by the body.
He said: “PANDEF is genuinely disturbed by this publication, which has come amidst the prevailing turmoil occasioned by some ethnic agitations in the country.
“Going by the allegations being canvassed by the New Delta Avengers, coupled with their threat of destruction of our vital national assets, PANDEF cannot afford to fold its arms, but has to quickly intervene and sue for the understanding of all to desist from any form of destructive action, as this will further bring more damage to the already degraded economic and environmental conditions we suffer in the region.”
The statement noted the various steps PANDEF had taken to address the issue of 13 percent derivation; Maritime University, Okerenkoko; modular refineries; pipeline surveillance; relocation of oil companies’ headquarters to the region, so as to engage the youths, among other matters.
Clarke added: “It is on this note that I wish to appeal to you, my dear children of the New Delta Avengers and all other groups, on behalf of PANDEF, to withdraw your ultimatum and give peace a chance because any action taken by you/us, will no doubt have adverse national consequences and may jeopardise the seemingly good intentions of the Federal Government for the region.”