New Telegraph

Presidency: PANDEF insists on power shift to South in 2023

…says it’ll unveil preferred candidate soon

The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has reiterated the stance of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) that the next president of Nigeria should come from the South in line with the principle of zoning and power rotation between the Northern and the Southern regions of the country.

The resolution to support a southern candidate came at an extraordinary meeting of the PANDEF held in Abuja on Friday presided over by the Forum’s National Leader, Chief Edwin K. Clark. Saturday Telegraph gathered that those that attended the meeting include PANDEF’s Board of Trustees, its National Executive Committee (NEC) and state Executive Committees (SEC), as well as other critical stakeholders in the Niger Delta region such as former governors, former ministers, former members of the National Assembly and traditional rulers.

The meeting deliberated, extensively, on the state of insecurity in Nigeria, the 2023 General Elections, flooding as well as other matters of critical concern to the Niger Delta region The group insisted that power rotation remains sacrosanct and just as it also urged patriotic and eligible voters, irrespective of region and religion, to vote for a Southern candidate in the 2023 presidential election in the interest of peace, unity and stability of Nigeria. PANDEF said in due course, it would make known to the public its preferred candidate amongst the presidential candidat of Southern extraction, after formal interactions with them.

It urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to sustain the recently recorded improvements in the nation’s electoral process and ensure that the 2023 Elections are free, fair, credible, and reflect the will of the Nigerian electorate, expressed through the votes cast, in all polling units, across the country.

In a communiqué released at the end of the meeting, the stakeholders expressed concern over the massive flood sweeping across the country and the level of destruction and human casualty left on its trail. Available statistics showed that apart from the over 600 people that have lost their lives, the flood disaster has also sacked millions from their homes and destroyed about three hundred thousand acres of farmland.
According to PANDEF, the massive devastation in the States of the Niger Delta, especially, Bayelsa, Rivets and Delta States was quite shocking as many communities have been totally submerged, while several communities are under threat of extinction, and possible recovery will be prolonged and expensive. The forum empathized with other Nigerians all over the country, who have lost loved ones and property due to the ravaging floods and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to visit Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States, to access the level of damage and destruction.

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