Leader of Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum (PANDEF) Chief Edwin Clark, yesterday came under severe criticism from three different militant groups in the region over his comment at the weekend where in described militants as criminals.
The groups, the Reformed Egbesu Boys of the Niger Delta (REBND), the Niger Delta Sea Dogs (NDSD) and the Niger Delta Sea Commandos (NDSC), which hitherto subscribed to the peace move being spearheaded by PANDEF, has denounced its support for the group.
They have consequently aligned themselves with the adamant militant group, Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM), that had consistently referred to Chief Clark-led group as selfish and self-seeking individuals who do not have the interest of the region at heart.
The groups, in a joint statement made available to newsmen in Warri yesterday and signed by their leaders, Tony Alagbakereowei, Ebi Abakoromor and Jaspa Ayabeke, accused PANDEF of sabotaging regional interest in its 16-point demands by deliberately removing their primary demand for an increment of the statutory 13 percent Derivation Fund and that the fund be directed to the oil-bearing communities.
The bodies also debunked the claim that all the militant groups in the region had thrown their weight behind the PANDEF campaign, stressing that such claim was false and unfounded.
According to their statement, ‘’The same set of leaders, who failed to develop our region during their days of leadership can never be given the opportunity and mandate to represent us the the expected talks with the Federal Government. Our leaders should not forget that it was due to their incapability to develop our region that led to this renewed militancy.
“On the 16-point placed before the president, none of our demands was presented. One of the most important demands that was expected on the frontline of the demands is the increment of the 13 percent Derivation Fund and payment of the same directly to the oil-bearing communities.”
The groups, however, urged President Buhari to set up the much-awaited team that will interface with their mandated representatives.