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The coalition of Niger Delta militants, Friday, withdrew a quit notice they issued to northerners and Yorubas to leave the region on or before October 1st.
The Pan Niger Delta People’s Congress (PNDPC), a new group with the mandate to negotiate for the Niger Delta with the Federal Government and other interested stakeholders, said the issuers of the quit notice gave them the mandate to withdraw it.
The coalition of the militants initially disbanded the Chief Edwin Clark-led Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) after passing a vote of no confidence in it and constituted PNDPC as the new negotiator for the region.
The militant groups appointed His Royal Majesty Pere Ayemi-Botu, Paramount Ruler of Seimbiri Kingdom as the Head of PNDPC and named Chief Mike Loyibo as the Coordinator/Convener of the group.
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.
Loyibo, whom the coalition said was appointed following his track records of integrity and honesty, confirmed that the coalition mandated the PNPDC to announce the withdrawal of the quit notice.
Loyibo said the youths were remorseful after he and members of the new group met with them and told them the implications of the quit notice to the peace and development of the region.
He said: “People should disregard the quit notice from our youths. I have spoken to many of them and they mandated me to withdraw it on their behalf.
“Those that issued the quit notice do not have called off the quit notice and discharged it. Everybody in the region in the west, east and north should go about their normal business. I can guarantee them of their safety.
“The entire Niger Delta people are not in agreement with the quit notice issue. The boys that issued it are very remorseful. So, they have asked me, because they mandated me to speak for them and the region, to discharge the quit notice”.
Loyibo lamented that such unpatriotic remarks like issuance of quit notices had their origin from the Cold War involving the country’s founding fathers during the precolonial era.
“This quit notice and counter quit notice found their foundations from the precolonial days. The three leaders that negotiated the independence of Nigeria did not love themselves.
“It was the crisis that extended to our era where everybody begins to struggle for their own. I don’t believe in regional r tribal considerations. As Ijaw people, those that had been god to us did not come from our region”, he said.
He said the youths were only suspicious that the Federal Government was trying to weaken them through promises that they might not fulfill at last.
Loyibo said the leaders also told the youths to also hold their governors, appointees and regional interventionist agencies responsible for lack of leadership and development.
He further blamed the Arewa youths for causing tension in the polity and frowned on the way and manner the government treated them.
He noted that nobody should be treated as a second class citizen adding that all must be held as equal stakeholders in the Nigerian project.
The Ijaw leader, however, said the youths in the region still believed in the integrity of President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice -President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and their ability to fulfill promises they made to the region.
He said: “We are peace-loving people. Our diversity is our strength. Mr. President has brought a lot of integrity to governance and he came in with massive goodwill. So, I believe that this is the time he should be addressing the issue.
“Late President Yar’Adua took the bull by the horn and declared amnesty and today amnesty is working. The place is being transformed in human capacity building. The people are impatient. They are waiting for the promises because they believe that whatever is the strategic plan is a ploy to weaken them.
“The other day, we were in a critical stakeholders meeting with the amnesty boss. I had another meeting with NNPC again. They deliberately told us what, when and how these plans would be implemented.
“From their explanations and from the man, the President, I know to be passionate about the issues of the Niger Delta with the Vice-President, I believe that we as Niger Deltans should be patient and support the government at the centre.