The Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum (PANDEF) has withdrawn the November 1 ultimatum it gave the Federal Government to commence the implementation of the 60-point agenda to open up the Niger Delta region or risk return of hostilities.
The group made this known Thursday night after a closed door meeting with the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo.
The meeting was said to have started around 7p.m at the Vice President’s conference room and lasted until late hours of the night. The meeting came few days after the forum gave the Federal Government November 1 ultimatum to implement its 16-point agenda.
Some of those who attended the meeting included Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, elder statesman, Edwin Clarke and Alfred Diete-Spiff.
Other are God knows Igali, Timi Alaibe, Obong Victor Atta, Graham Douglas, Dan Etete, Captain Idahosa Okunbo, Paul Ogbebor, and Senator Ndoma Egba, Minister of Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu and other relevant Ministries and parasols overseeing development in the region.
According Kachikwu, while speaking with journalists after the meeting, the ultimatum was withdrawn after exhaustive discussion with Prof. Osinbajo
He said: “Several issues were discussed, issues relating to University at Okerenkeko, issues relating to development in Niger Delta generally, issues relating to the amnesty programme and how well it is working, issues relating to NDDC operations in Niger Delta.
“It was very exhaustive, we looked at the 16-point agenda how far we have gone.
“Today was environment of peace, calm friendliness and mutual dialoguing of issues so that they will understand where we are coming from and some of the most pressing concerns that they have.
“Obviously PANDEF as a very responsible organisation always alerts us where there is an alarm bell that is going on. I think I see the ultimatum more in terms of alarm bell,small urgency that is required to do certain things.
“It is not an alarm in the sense of we are going to pull off the top relationship.
“They did in fact placed their loyalty and their willingness to work with us to find solutions to the problems and the Acting President took notes of them.
“It wasn’t an ultimatum it was a warning for the needs of urgency. The alarm is that we need to hurry up with a lot of problems, people are frustrated, people are tired, people want to see positive action in all the problems.
“They probably think that we are not fast as we should be”, he added.