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The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has formally thrown their weight behind the call for the exclusion of Abia, Imo and Ondo states from the Niger Delta Development Commission.
The Eastern Updates recalls that the foremost Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, had addressed a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday, where he made the call.
Subsequently at the meeting of PANDEF in Abuja, the South-South leaders re-echoed the call for the amendment of relevant sections of the NDDC Establishment Act 2000.
They said the essence was to extricate the three non-South South States (Abia, Imo, and Ondo) that were integrated on political grounds, from the Commission.
The meeting was attended by the National Leader, Chief Dr. E. K. Clark; the PANDEF National Chairman, Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien; Members of the PANDEF Board of Trustees, National and State Officers, as well as former National and State Legislators, Governors, Ministers, and other critical Stakeholders.
Those in attendance also included Hon. Nduese Essien, former Minister of Lands & Housing; Amb. Dr. Godknows Igali; Senator Musa Adede; Senator Nimi Barigha-Amange; Senator Bassey Ewa-Henshaw; Dr. Cairo Ojoubgoh; Solomon Asemota SAN; and Rt. Hon. Stella Dorgu.
Others were, Hon. Olivia Agbajoh; Obongawan Grace Ekong; HRM King Dr. Suanu T.Y. Baridam JP; Hon. Egho Ogene; Hon. Bassey Ekefre; Hon. Bernard Mikko; Prof. G.G. Darah; Prof. Uduak Umoh; Prince Okareme Maikpobi; HRH Diepreye Amadein; Chief Uwemedimo Nwoko, SAN; Chief Barr. Obo Osaro; Hon. Ottos Akuephel and Dr. Ken Robinson, among others.
PANDEF also condemned the continued gross ‘annexation’ of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, where all top strategic management positions are occupied by persons from the north, while Niger Delta indigenes were marginalised and circumscribed to peripheral standings, in both the management and operations of the industry
The group also cited the recent humongous Pipeline Maintenance Contracts awarded by NNPC Ltd to the exclusion of qualified firms from the Niger Delta as a typical example.
It called on President Bola Tinubu to guarantee the appointment of someone from any of the six South-South States as the next Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC).