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N-Delta’s 16-point demands: Give FG time to respond —Clark, Attah

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Leaders of Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, Chief Edwin Clark and a co-chairman of the forum’s Central Working Committee, Obong Victor Attah, have asked people of the region to be patient and give the Federal Government time to respond to the 16-point demands presented to President Muhammadu Buhari, at last Tuesday’s meeting.

In an interview with Vanguard, Clark recalled that the President had promised to study the demands of Niger Delta leaders and get back to them, advising the Presidency however, not to tarry for too long before responding to the issues raised in the forum’s position paper.

He said: “As Mr. President said, they are going to study our documents. So, we are waiting for them and we do hope it will be an early response because the boys themselves have spoken today that they are happy with what we went for and the government should act immediately. We have our body (PANDEF), we will be in contact with the Minister of State (Petroleum) from time to time.

So, the President too recognized that, and we too acknowledged it, that the Minister of State for Petroleum, is the bridge between us and the government. The President should not sit on our demands for too long. These things must be attended to as soon as possible because the opportunity we had  on Tuesday may not arise again. If nothing is done for some time and you ask Niger Deltans to go and see Mr. President, they may not go and that would be very dangerous.”

On his part, Obong Attah said: “If you read that presentation properly, the essence of it is to say to Mr. President, we have to build confidence on both sides. The militants in the creeks must trust that the government is determined to do something about changing the situation that they find themselves in today. The government must feel that the militants are prepared to lay down their arms and accept dialogue as a means of solving the situation.

So, this confidence-building is one of the key issues. The first thing that needs to happen to demonstrate that is for the government to set up its own dialogue team without any delay. When the government does that, everybody will know that government is now ready to talk and find solutions.”

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Updated 2 Years ago

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Tags:     N-Delta     16-point     demands     FG     Clark     Attah