By Emma Amaize, Henry Umoru, Jimitota Onoyume and Livinus Nwabughiogu
Elders, leaders and stakeholders of the Niger Delta, weekend, restrategised against those who it accused of using divide and rule tactics against the region, especially in the proposed dialogue/negotiation with the Federal Government, by fusing all the separate groups into one umbrella body, Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PNDF.
The groups, including the Pan-Niger Delta States Consultative Forum, led by former Federal Commissioner for Information, Chief Edwin Clark, Niger Delta Dialogue and Contact Group, NDDCG, led by King Alfred Diette-Spiff, and a new cluster facilitated by the Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon Rotimi Amaechi, resolved to henceforth speak with one voice.
The decision was taken at a meeting of elders, leaders and stakeholders of the region held, Friday night, at the Abuja residence of Clark. Other groups that collapsed into the PNDF were the Traditional Rulers of Oil Mineral Producing Communities of Nigeria, TROMPCON, Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas, HOSTCOM, Initiative for Peace, Governance and Development, South-South Consolidated Forum, among others.
Clark remains leader
The PNDF, at a press briefing addressed by a former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah, announced the merger of the groups and selection of Clark as its leader after a two-hour deliberation, after which journalists were ushered out for further deliberations.
At the end of the meeting, which lasted into the night, a Central Working Committee, CWC, was set up to run the affairs of PNDF following the request of Clark that he was now old and that younger elements should take charge