*says endorsement handiwork of few hungry old men
By Paul Boroh
Barely three days after the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) endorsed the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the youth wing of PANDEF has disowned the purported endorsement of Atiku.
The Youth Wing of PANDEF described the endorsement of the PDP flag bearer as the handiwork of ‘few hungry old men’ from the Niger Delta region, saying that the decision has no backing of the youths.
Arising from an emergency meeting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state, they condemned what they regarded as the desperation of an old dying generation of elders that lack integrity and interest of the region at heart.
A statement signed after their meeting on Tuesday, by its Youth Coordinator, Famous Daunemigha, leaders from Edo and Delta state chapters of PANDEF, General’ Don Ben and Abule Ateh, said PANDEF was apolitical and therefore the endorsement of Atiku by a few elders was null, void and unconstitutional.
The statement reads, “Number one PANDEF never endorsed Atiku, because what you saw is a bunch of old dying generation that lack intergity, PANDEF is a well organized body, made up of a very well enlightened people cut across the whole of Niger Delta states.
“PANDEF has a constitution, we are apolitical, it’s just a bunch of old men who collected money from Atiku and Obi, trying to fill their pocket even when they are dying.
“PANDEF never had any meeting, or Congress, where we agreed to endorse any political party. What they did, was just some few greedy old dying men lack of integrity that’s what happened.”
Speaking at the end of their meeting, the youth coordinator, said there was never any meeting and so it very clear that the bunch of self seeking elders did the endorsement and the announcement on their own.
He said, It’s very very clear, I am an APC member, but I’ve never used PANDEF at any point because we know that the constitution says that we should be apolitical, we all have rights to support whatever political party but to not to endorse any person or a candidate”
“The few people you saw there, are just bunch of like minds, Chief E.K Clark, the chairman of PANDEF, some other PDP members who are there, who feel that they are losing election, they felt they want to use regional bodies to advocate for votes but they will fail.
“PANDEF, have not met, we never had a Congress at any time, to decide such endorsement, it was a bunch of greedy old people.”
Similarly, the purported endorsement has caused a big rift in the Pan Niger Delta group, with Publicity Secretary, Chief Sara-Igbe Anabs, saying that at no time did they meet as a body to take that decision.
Chief Sara-Igbe said: “The leader can say anything, but it should be on record that PANDEF has not met to take any of such decision. As far as I am concerned, we have not met as a body and besides, the constitution of PANDEF bans the forum from being partisan.”