A delegation of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has paid a visit to former President Goodluck Jonathan where issues bordering on insecurity, clamours for restructuring and agitations among other national concerns were discussed.
The PANDEF delegation, which visited the former president at his Abuja home on Wednesday, was led by the National Chairman, Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien.
In a statement signed and made available to Tribune Online on Friday in Warri, Delta State by PANDEF’s National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Ken Robinson, the South-South regional group said they visited former President Jonathan on consultation being a key voice in the country and political leader of the Niger Delta.
According to Robinson, PANDEF at the visit also reiterated “the need for a regional security arrangement for the South-South as being done by other zones in the country.
“We committed some of our retired top Military and Police Officers to develop a Regional Security Framework, which we handed to the South-South Governors during their meeting in Port Harcourt on 16th November 2020.
“Whatever that is needed should be done to fast track setting up of the regional security arrangement to complement the efforts of the national security agencies, and enhance the safety and security of lives and property, of not only our people but all Nigerians who reside or do business in the Niger Delta region.”
The statement also added that the PANDEF delegation discussed the continued neglect of the East-West Road and other critical infrastructures in the South-South region by the Federal Government and its 16-Point Agenda.
“On restructuring, PANDEF said, while we agree to a united, indivisible Nigeria, it should be based on equity, fairness and justice.
“There is no doubt that restructuring is not only a vital necessity but has now become expedient for the survival of Nigeria as a united entity,” the statement further read.
The South-South socio-cultural group specifically urged the Federal Government to start the restructuring process with the report of the 2014 National Conference convoked during the administration of former President Jonathan.
“And that the Report of the 2014 National Conference, which was convoked during the administration of the former President, contains substantial guidelines for the equitable restructuring of Nigeria, to promote stability and sustainability,” PANDEF noted.
The socio-cultural body also reportedly availed Jonathan of its onerous activities urging him to rally around political leaders in the South-South for the purpose of unity.
Former President Jonathan, according to PANDEF’s National Secretary, while responding, underscored the essence of socio-cultural groups and commended them for their commitment and steadfastness to the growth of the country.
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