By Joy Emmanuel
The Niger Delta Freedom Fighters from the Nine States have again rejected the embattled Pan African Niger Delta Elders Forum (PANDEF) over alleged exclusion of key stakeholders from the region in the negotiations with the federal government.
The leaders of the ex-Niger Delta Freedom Fighters and Leadership Forum, instead endorsed the choice of the leader of Pan Niger Delta People Congress, His Royal Majesty Pere Charles Ayemi Botu Paramount Ruler Siembiri Kingdom.
They expressed loss of confidence in Chief E.K Clarke’s PANDEF stating that Clarke did not carry out wider consultations before proceeding to claim he was representing their interest.
The Forum of Ex-militant leaders, made up of beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty in 2009 and led by Comrade Excel Yerindideke Toriomo, stated in a statement via email that “we have deemed it fit and have endorsed the leader of Pan Niger Delta People Congress, His Royal Majesty Pere Charles Ayemi Botu, Paramount Ruler Siembiri Kingdom. We are not comfortable with Dr E.k Clark-led PANDEF”
“Chief Clark is using PANDEF to get political recognitions since he lost power in the presidency in 2015. Dr Clark has brought the region more pain than good. The entire region has lost confidence in his person.
The group proceeded to dissociate itself from the ultimatum PANDEF gave to the federal government adding that when the ultimatum was given and the reason it was withdrawn they were not informed.”
“We call on the federal government to fulfil its campaign promises to the people to attract meaningful development to our region. We hereby call on the federal government to work with the leader of Pan Niger Delta People Congress, His Royal Majesty Charlse Ayemi Botu paramount Ruler Siembiri Kingdom. He has the leadership prowess and administrative competence to bring uncommon transformation to our region”