“As witnesses to the commitment of this government to these issues that we have presented over the years through various fora, and tangible achievements we have seen as it concerns our region over the last four years, we have decided to endorse the government to continue beyond 2019," Ebikabowei Victor Ben, Convener of PAND, said.
Peace Ambassadors of the Niger Delta (PAND), a group of former militants, on Wednesday endorsed the second term bid of President Muhammadu Buhari.
At a press conference in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, the ex-agitators said they have witnessed the great commitment of the Buhari administration to the development region.
Ebikabowei Victor Ben, Convener of PAND, lauded the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government for not scrapping the Presidential Amnesty Programme for Niger Delta despite pressure from some quarters.
Ben said: “In spite of promises by several administrations, this government under the leadership of the now United Nations Deputy Secretary, Amina Mohammed, put the framework for the remediation and cleanup of Ogoniland, which is the largest of such effort in the world and expected to cost $1billion.
“As we speak, contractors have been mobilised for the first phase of the exercise. Also, the Bodo City/Bonny Road, which was abandoned for more three decades have been awarded and construction is ongoing.
“Also, the Niger Delta is not left out of this government’s commitment to investing in infrastructure which is one of its biggest spending priorities. The long-abandoned East-West road is finally receiving funding and attention.
“All of these achievements find expression in a 20-point plan for the Niger Delta, which was presented to us by the Petroleum Minister, Ibe Kachikwu. The plan also covers the need for government and oil companies working in our region to create at least 100,000 jobs yearly. The plan for the Niger Delta is what we need now for a more sustainable future.
“As witnesses to the commitment of this government to these issues that we have presented over the years through various fora, and tangible achievements we have seen as it concerns our region over the last four years, we have decided to endorse the government to continue beyond 2019.”
The PAND Convener stated that ex-agitators and the people of the Niger Delta region have seen a deep-seated commitment of the current administration in addressing the issues faced by the people of the region.