* Decries persecution of Onnoghen
The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has justified its support for former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar ahead of this week’s general elections stressing that the support is informed by his capacity to unite the country and also restructure the country for the benefit of nationalities.
The socio-political organization also disclosed that its support for Atiku is consistent with the position adopted by other organizations across other geopolitical zones in the country including the Afenifere, Ohaneze, the Middle Belt Forum as well as the Northern Elders Forum.
Rising from a meeting in Calabar, prominent leaders of PANDEF in the state including Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw, NellaAndemRabana, SAN, Col. Pam Ogar (Rtd.), Senator ItaGiwa said the decision to support the former Vice President is not just in the interest of the region but the overall benefit of the Nation.
Justifying the basis for endorsing Atiku, one of the leaders of the organization and former Chairman of NDDC, Senator Bassey Ewa said the region will cue behind the Atiku’s Presidency because of his promise for restructuring which is what the region needs.
According to him, “The principal reason for our support is to further propagate the position of PANDEF that there is need to restructure so as to allow the states in the country to determine the steps they need to take to drive their development.
“Nigerian Elders Forum comprising all the major nationalities met and decided that because Atiku is committed to restructuring, they decided that they will support him for the presidency and this is also the position of PANDEF”, he said.
He said it is only the candidate that is committed to restructuring that the group will support and because of Atiku’s commitment to restructuring, the region will cue behind him en block.
He said that for many years, PANDEF has projected and defended and defended the interest of not just the Niger Delta People but the people of the South in general.
On the travails of the suspended CJN, Walter Onnoghen, PANDEF called for due process his trial stressing that there is nowhere in the world where such can take place.
NellaAndemRabana, SAN, a former Attorney General of Cross River State called on people of the region not to keep quiet was the case with Bakassi but to rise up against such injustice meted out against an indigene of the region.
She said: “They have done it with Bakassi and everybody kept quiet, now they have come to the CJN. The manner in which the CJN was ambushed has not happened anywhere in the world. The only place they tried it was in Pakistan and the country almost can down. But in Nigeria where everything has been factionalised and even professionals don’t seem to know what they are doing.
“We must ensure that we do not sell out votes and make sure that we do not vote this man as president again otherwise he will take us into slavery”, she said.
Also speaking, Senator Ita Giwa said Nigerians made a grave mistake by electing the president and hoped that God will forgive them as they go about correcting the mistake made in 2015.
On his part, Col. Pam Ogar, the former Military Governor of Kwara State and Chairman of All Cross River Nationals said the people of should seize the opportunity of the elections to vent their displeasure with the injustice meted out to the region.