The coalition of Niger Delta militants has reaffirmed its position that the Chief Edwin Clark-led Pan Niger Delta Forum can no longer enter into negotiations with the Federal Government on behalf of the region.
It alleged that PANDEF members consisted of people who could be described as the ”Idols of under-development in the Niger Delta”.
The coalition comprises the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers; Niger Delta Joint Revolutionary Crusaders Council; Niger Delta Supreme Egbesu Fighters; Niger Delta Red Scorpion Fighters; Niger Delta Youth Mandate for Justice; Niger Delta People’s Liberation Force; Niger Delta Fighters for Resource Control; Niger Delta for Urhobo Resource Control; and Bakassi People’s Liberation Force.
In a statement on Saturday by the leader, RNDA, ‘Major General’ Johnmark Ezonbi, aka Obama, on behalf of the coalition sent via electronic mail, the militants maintained that there was the need for change of leadership from the ”old brigade” if success must be achieved in the struggle for development of the region.
The coalition said that a new group, Pan Niger Delta People’s Congress, which cuts across the various ethnic groups in the region, had their mandate to discuss with the Federal Government on behalf of the region.
Those mandated by the coalition to negotiate for the region under the auspices of PNDPC are His Royal Majesty Pere Ayemi-Botu, Paramount Ruler of Seimbiri Kingdom as the Head, while Chief Mike Loyibo will act as the Coordinator/Convener of the group.
Other leaders, according to the militants groups are King Bassey Achiaringa, the paramount ruler of Ibeno land, Akwa Ibom; King Suanu Baridam, Gbenemene Bua II, Ogoniland, Rivers State; Chief Olisa Imegwu; Chief Paul Evwierhoma; Prof. Patrick Mouboghare; Justice Fedode Tabai (retd.), retired Deputy Inspector of Police Mike Zuokumor; Chief Peremobowei Ebebi; Prof. Christopher Dime, among others.
They noted that Loyibo did not force himself on the group but was carefully chosen based on his antecedents, clarifying that he (Loyibo) was not fighting to take over from Clark as being insinuated in some quarters.
The militants’ groups said Clark was too old and would have remained an opinion leader rather than take up such a responsibility of interfacing with the Federal Government on their behalf.
They claimed that PANDEF comprised people who did not want the younger generation to rise but to continue to hold the region to ransom.