Aggrieved militant groups in the Niger Delta region have been urged to speak up if dissatisfied with the 16-point demands presented to President Muhammadu Buhari by Chief Edwin Clark-led Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF).
National Chairman and acting spokesperson of the Ijaw People’s Development Initiative (IPDI), Comrade Austin Ozobo and Mayor Timi Ogobiri, made the plea in a statement made available to Nigerian Tribune in Warri on Wednesday.
The group expressed worries over the renewed onslaught on oil and gas facilities in spite of the November 1 parley between PANDEF and the FG.
“We are worried about the renewed attacks on oil facilities by Niger Delta militants after few days of PANDEF parley with President Buhari where 16-point demands were presented.
“Niger Delta militants should speak up if they are misrepresented by PANDEF, or falling from the mandate given to them.
“The public should be intimated of their current anger, and militants should state why the continued bombing of oil facilities, because everybody’s expectation was that meeting of PANDEF with President Buhari would restore lasting peace in Niger Delta, so we are worried about what is happening again,” the group noted.
It took a swipe on Clark-led PANDEF for downplaying the germane issue of restructuring of the country, which, it said, would have taken care of other demands of the region.
“We (IPDI) made our point known that the meeting between Pa Clark-led PANDEF and President Buhari falls below expectation since burning issue such as restructuring which will take care of issues of 13 per cent derivation, abolishment of 1984 land use acts and their 16-point demand does not form part of the demands presented to Mr President, couples with President Buhari poor response.
“The worse, fiscal federalism which appears to takes the shape of restructuring was treated as 16th item with much rejection in the list.”
“It was noted that issues in the 16-point demand were not listed by their importance; issues had to be listed according to priority, scale of preference or of their importance.
“Restructuring is what we want, and it will take care of many of the listed 16-point demands and others omitted such as resources control, amendment of the 1984 land use acts, revisit of various committees reports, 2014 National Conference reports and among others.
“Equally, if the militants are also disappointed, they should speak up so that the public will know their current anger,” the group suggested.