By Our Correspondent
The Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has Condemned the perceived persecution and humiliation of former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan and his family, and seeming silence over the matter by President Muhammadu Buhari.
PANDEF’s position was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a meeting held in Kiagbodo, Burutu council area of Delta state, the country home of Ijaw national leader, Chief Edwin Clark.
The communiqué was signed by Clark as Convener/Leader and former Military Administrator of Akwa-Ibom state, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (Rtd), as Acting Chairman of PANDEF’s Central Working Committee.
The body, which drew participants from various ethnic nationalities within the oil-rich region, also expressed dissatisfaction over recent statement credited to the Special Adviser on Media to the President, Femi Adesina, insinuating that the Presidency was still searching for credible representatives for the region. It described the statement as most insulting.
The body, which expressed concerns over the wanton destruction of lives and property in the southern part of Kaduna state, urging government to urgently take an action, also charged the federal government to urgently release over N1 trillion owed the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“The Forum takes very strong exception to the statement credited to Special Adviser on Media to the President, Mr Femi Adesina, that the president was still in search of credible leaders of the Niger Delta, with whom to dialogue. This is an assault on the sensibilities and integrity of the people of the Niger Delta.
“PANDEF remains a united body of credible and patriotic leaders who have paid their dues in various walks of life and not a body of attention seekers, as being bandied by the enemies of the Niger Delta.
“The Forum condemns the wanton destruction of lives and properties in Southern Kaduna and calls on the federal government to urgently ensure the safety of the lives in the area.
“PANDEF expresses concerns at the orchestrated assault on the family of former President Goodluck Jonathan, with the obvious intention to humiliate him and finds the silence of President Muhammadu Buhari worrisome.
“Forum also demands the urgent release of the over One Trillion naira federal government under-contribution to the funds of the Niger Delta Development Commission”, the communiqué read in part.