Clark flays disruption of PANDEF meeting

Edwin Kiagbodo Clark

A former Federal Commissioner for Information, Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, has flayed the recent disruption of a meeting planned by the PAN-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF).

In a statement yesterday, he cautioned that the country might drift into a crisis if the trend was not quickly checked.

Clark described it as a violation of the Constitution, as it was done during the military days, adding that it was also a threat to security and democracy.

He said the 1999 Constitution guaranteed the right to free assembly, movement and opinion.

According to him, the delegates did not believe that the Department of State Service (DSS) and the Police would have any reason to prevent the meeting from holding.

He said: “This is because the government, federal, state and local governments have more reasons to support PANDEF than to destroy it, since it arose from the ashes of the destruction of oil and gas facilities in 2016. The destruction led to a drastic economic suffocation, which made oil output to fall to about 800,000 bpd.

“It was the PANDEF’s interventionist appeal and action that rescued the national economy, which has since moved the production up, to well over 2million bpd and $120million earnings per day.”

To buttress the level of confidence by government, he said PANDEF had also collaborated with governments and met with President Muhammadu Buhari on November 1, 2016, and also facilitated the tour of the region by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, in his capacity as the Acting President. This culminated in another parley with him on August 3, 2017.

He explained that the group also had an inter-ministerial meeting with Osinbajo as the chairman, adding that 10 PANDEF members and other stakeholders also participated at a meeting in Akure

Clark described PANDEF as a regional pressure group in the mold of the Afenifere, Arewa Consultative Forum, Ohaneze Ndigbo and the Middle Belt Forum. He queried the plot against PANDEF, which is the guardian of the country’s golden egg.

“PANDEF would employ every civilised legal and constitutional process to obtain an unreserved apology, with an undertaking that, never again, would any Nigerian or group be threatened with the usurpation of their universal and constitutional rights,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Chairmen of Gbaramatu communities yesterday appealed to the Niger Delta Avengers not to carry out its threat of attacking oil facilities.

The Chairman of Kokodiagbene community, in Gbararmatu Kingdom, Sheriff Mulade, made the appeal on behalf of the chairmen.

They urged the group to embrace dialogue, because of the consequences of the planned hostilities.

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Edwin ClarkPANDEF


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