The Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, has charged all oil companies, multinationals and indigenous, operating in the region to respect and honour all Memorandum of Understanding entered with their host communities in the interest of peace in the region.
PANDEF at its national leadership retreat in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, also commended the federal government for the peaceful resolution of the contentious issue concerning OML 25 in Belema, Offoin-Ama and Ngeje Communities in Kula Kingdom, Rivers State.
National Chairman of PANDEF, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (Rtd.), who read the resolutions reached by the group, said the retreat was imperative to enable its leadership evaluate performance and structures, develop strategic action plans for effectiveness, as well as appraise the state of affairs in the region, and formulate and adopt best approaches.
Nkanga decried the poor state of critical infrastructure in the Niger Delta region, particularly federal roads, and calls on the federal government, to give immediate and urgent attention to roads in the region, especially East-West Road, Calabar-Itu-Aba-Ikot Ekpene Road, Ogoja-Ikom-Calabar Road and Port Harcourt-Aba Road.
He said PANDEF is committed to the steadfast pursuit of shared interests along with promoting understanding and peaceful co-existence amongst the various ethnic nationalities in the region.
The resolution reads, “PANDEF urges international and indigenous oil companies operating in the region to respect and honour Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) entered with host communities in the interest of peace in the region.
“PANDEF commends the Federal Government for the peaceful resolution of the contentious issue concerning the license/operation of OML25 located in Belema, Offoinama & Ngeje Communities in Kula kingdom of Akuku Toru Local Government area, Rivers State. And implores the federal government to deploy same approach to other host communities in the Niger Delta where there are disputes over Oil Marginal License/operation.
“Applauds the people of Kula Kingdom for their steadfastness and resilience, and for remaining peaceful throughout the period of the dispute. Similarly commends the Nigerian Military for their professional conduct in handling the matter.
“Thanks Belemaoil for proving beyond reasonable doubt that indigenous oil companies can do better in developing the human and infrastructural development in the oil and gas bearing communities.”
PANDEF also restated its position on restructuring of the country and called on the federal government to as a matter of urgency begin a constructive dialogue process.
The Pan Niger Delta Forum also threw its weight behind the planned probing of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to extend the probe to the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF.
“PANDEF welcomes the order by President Muhammad Buhari for a forensic audit of the NDDC accounts from 2001 to 2019. However demands that names of beneficiaries of contracts of the Commission over the period under review should be made public. In addition, insists that for NDDC to function effectively there must be adequate funding and less political interference.
“PANDEF further urges Mr. President to extend the order of audit to other national interventionist organizations like the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF).