The Pan Niger Delta Forum’s leadership presented Mr. Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate with the demands of Niger Delta region if he wing the 2023 presidential election.
Among other things, federalism, restructuring of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) are what the group as Obi to promise the region.
In an interactive meeting conducted on Friday in Yenagoa during Obi’s visit to Bayelsa State as part of his ongoing presidential campaign, PANDEF made the demand.
Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, the national chairman, and Dr. Godknows B. Igali, the secretary of the board of trustees, signed the group’s demand letter, which was read to the Labour Party candidate and demanded that, if elected president, he demonstrate his commitment to a real federal system.
Senator Essien while presenting the region’s demand told Obi, “When you win you have to protect our interest because the Niger Delta is the region that produces over 80 per cent of the revenue for the country and we cannot be taken for granted. We are asking you to consider structural adjustment/devolution of power with more resources to the sub-nationals. This will help the regions to develop at their own pace and will help the country to grow.
“We also want you to look at the restructuring of NDDC, which was established to help the Niger Delta region and ensure that the policies implemented including regional master plan which was made but has not been implemented. Also, projects like railway within the South South, referral hospitals, agricultural value chain plants, the East- West road which for over 20 years has not been completed.
“The immediate reactivation of all sea ports in the South South and creation of new ports to encourage movement of goods and services from the South South through the South East and North Central to the North East.
“This will also boost economic and employment opportunities for our young people.
“Relocation of the Headquarters of International Oil Companies, IOCs, to their areas of operation in Niger Delta.
“Supporting the setting up of modular refineries to promote employment opportunities, check security challenges in the Niger Delta and supplement local production of refined products.
“Completion of the Gas Mega City in Delta State, the Brass Fertilizer Complex in Bayelsa State, and the reactivation of ALSCON Aluminum Smelter Plant in Akwa Ibom State as well as formation of Coast Guards under the supervision of the Nigerian Navy to bolster Maritime Security.
“The I6-Point Agenda – we presented the 16-Point Demand to the present administration on 1st November, 2016. We will provide copies to you and your team for your perusal and finally, we like to place on record, the desire of the South South Zone to play critical role for the success of your government, when you win as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”