Botched South-South Meeting: PANDEF knocks FG, says ‘one insult, too many’
The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has described the failure of a Federal Government delegation to show up for a meeting planned at its instance with key stakeholders of the South-South as “one insult, too many.”
It will be recalled that the meeting was scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt on Tuesday to discuss critical national issues, but couldn’t hold due to an emergency security meeting in Abuja as explained by the Presidency.
Before the last-minute botched meeting, traditional rulers, governors, clergy, elders, leaders, women and youths from the six South-South states had gathered at the venue in Port Harcourt and had waited for hours.
In a statement signed by the National Chairman, PANDEF and former military governor of Akwa Ibom, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (rtd), the group described the FG’s action as disdainful and insult on the South-South people.
“It was a clear demonstration of contempt and disregard for the entire South-South Zone. The reason offered for the deplorable action is completely untenable and unacceptable. This is one Insult too many,” Nkanga noted.
Reechoing the demands of state governors from the region, PANDEF restated that the FG must tender an unreserved apology to the governments and people of South-South before frayed nerves can be assuaged.
The group slammed ministers and other top government officials from the South-South for being absent at the botched meeting with no prior notice, describing it as curious.
The group averred that whether the presidency was ready to meet with leaders of the South-South or not, “the people of the South-South have taken a firm stand on the issue of restructuring of Nigeria. We are the biggest victims of Nigeria’s flawed federal system. All we want is true federalism!
“Nigeria is not the only country operating a federal system of government in the world. They cannot continue to pretend that they do not know what true federalism or fiscal federalism implies. Nigeria has to be restructured, things have to change.
Modalities on how the country could be restructured have been proffered in the 2014 National Conference Report. It provides sufficient guidelines for the restructuring of Nigeria.”
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