The Pan Niger Delta Forum has carpeted the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government for reneging on the planned consultations with the Niger Delta people since 2016.
PANDEF insisted that the Federal Government was engaging in a monologue with the people of the region rather than dialogue.
The socio-cultural group noted that rather than continue discussions with the Niger Delta on the 16-point agenda raised by its leaders, the government was either talking to itself or not engaging at all.
The National Chairman, PANDEF, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (retd.), who spoke during the inauguration of the Bayelsa chapter of PANDEF in Yenagoa on Tuesday, called for a quick restructuring of the Nigerian nation.
He was assisted by his deputy, Chief Francis Doukpola, and other leaders of the body, including Dr Alfred Mulade, secretary of the national body.
The new exco in Bayelsa is led by Chief Thompson Okorotie and Senator Enatimi Rufus-Spiff is the Vice-Chairman, while Douglas Naigba is the new Secretary of PANDEF in the state.
Nkanga, a former military administrator of Akwa Ibom State, said the essence of the dialogue when PANDEF was set up by its founders was to examine ways to douse the anger and discontentment with the Federal Government.
He, however, regretted that not much had been achieved in that direction.
The PANDEF boss said, “On November 1, 2016, we met with President Muhammadu Buhari and that resulted in a 16-point agenda. What could have followed and what was desired was that there should be a dialogue between the Niger Delta and the Federal Government, so we could look at the myriad of problems we have here.
“But there was just, perhaps, one dialogue. Since then, it has turned to a monologue and today, we have no ‘logue’ at all. Yet, the problems are still there.”
The former military officer, however noted that PANDEF remained undeterred by the seeming silence from the Federal Government, explaining that it had been able to collaborate with other groups from the rest of Nigeria to drum up support for restructuring.
Nkanga said, “Today, Nigerians have begun to speak out about this 10-storey building called Nigeria which is sitting on the foundation meant for a bungalow. The main issue has been that Nigeria needs to be restructured so that our people can be accommodated and so that there will be no first-class country with second-class citizens.
“Our issue in the Niger Delta is that, of the three pillars of restructuring, fiscal federalism is non-negotiable. It also touches on true federalism and devolution of power so that this will be a balanced nation.”