Elder statesman and convener of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, Chief Edwin Clark, has accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of taking the patience and patriotism of the people of the region for granted over his alleged failure to implement the 16-point demand submitted to him since 2016.
Clark, who decried the continued underdevelopment of the region, however, challenged the Federal Government to disclose the share of the region in the N510bn it claimed to have invested particularly in infrastructural development in the last three years in the country.
At a press conference in his Kiagbodo country home, Delta State on Wednesday, the PANDEF leader also alleged that jobs opening in the nation’s oil industry had been skewed in favour of the North as unemployed youths including graduates of the amnesty programme were denied such opportunities.
The briefing, which was attended by a former Minister of Police Affairs, Alaowei Broderick Bozimo, Chief Emmanuel Okumagba, an erstwhile chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Delta State, Dr Pius Sinebe and other prominent leaders in the region, also had representatives of the youths. Clark, who described as appalling the attention of the Federal Government to the plight of the region, warned that the patience of the people of the region especially the youths was waning.
He, therefore, urged President Buhari to urgently take a proactive step to halt a fresh crisis in the region. Clark said, “I want to remind you all, that our (PANDEF) intervention in the direction of peace and security has continued to help the national economy and contributed substantially to its exit out of recession. From a drop in oil production to 800,000 barrels per day in 2016, today NNPC is producing over 2.3 million barrels a day, a fourfold increase.