The Niger Delta Stakeholders’ Summit headed by Professor Yemi Osinbajo has been rejected by the Pan-Niger Delta Coastal States Stakeholders’ Consultative Forum led by Chief Edwin Clark.
In a statement signed by Chief Clark and 28 others, described the summit as contrary to the expectations “of all right-thinking persons worldwide”.
Clack said the summit was meant to shift focus from the main issue at a time militants in the region have decided on a ceasefire and the kind of problem that is in the region did not require an academic summit but rather dialogue between the government and credible representatives from the Niger Delta.
The group said, due to the cessation of hostilities by the armed agitators of the Niger Delta, the oil production had increased to 1.7mbpd and this should serve as springboard for negotiation rather than taking action that will bring militancy back.
The group statement:
“President Muhammadu Buhari, for over six weeks, since cessation of hostilities as a result of the intervention by the Traditional Rulers, Elders and Leaders of the Niger Delta, had not responded to the demands of the peoples of the Niger Delta for a credible and proper dialogue process.
“We note with happiness that the Region has been relatively quiet and stable, following The ceasefire brokered by the leaders of the Region with the expectation that the Federal Government will urgently interface and commence negotiation with accredited representatives of the Niger Delta Region. Rather than doing the needful, the Region has however, been over militarized of its creeks and other spaces….However, a significant achievement of the ceasefire is the increase in the quantum of oil production of 1.7 mbpd, according to the Hon. Minister of States, Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.
“We wish to state that almost a month has elapsed since militant groups in the region agreed to a 60-Day cessation of hostilities without the Federal Government constituting a negotiation team. Rather, the Office of the Vice President is organizing a summit of stakeholders purportedly for the Niger Delta. It is our considered opinion that for the Federal Government to contemplate a summit of this nature, rather than proper dialogue and negotiations with leaders of the region is to trivialize the gravity of the issues and opt for a cosmetic approach.”