Edwin Clark, the leader of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, has stated that he and his group were not intimidated by fresh threats by militants in the region.
Chief Clark, a former federal information commissioner, said this in reaction to warning by the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, that they would resume hostilities should the Federal Government recognise PANDEF forum as the mouthpiece of the Niger Delta people.
Clark advised Nigerians to dismiss the threat because the group doesn’t exist.
“Those are laptop militants; they don’t exist. Four of them will sit down in their houses and be issuing threats”, he is reported as saying in Punch.
“These threats have existed since November 2016 when we met with Mr. President at the Villa. Some of these faceless boys issued the same threat and since then, they have been issuing threats.”
Clark also spoke on the heavy presence of security agents at the venue of PANDEF recent meeting.
“The Federal Government was responsible for the unfortunate incident. I say this because I contacted the Director of Operations, Department of State Services in Abuja, who confirmed that they received an order from above,” Clark said.
“They (DSS) did not give any reason. So, we are asking them to give us reasons because we are not enemies of the government, we are friends of the government and we are doing our best to ensure peace in the Niger Delta.
“We had the last meeting with the Acting President then on the 3rd of August, which lasted for about three hours – from 7pm to 10pm. About 10 of our members attended a council meeting in Akure; that meeting was organised by the Ministry of Niger Delta.
“So, we don’t know why they should block our assembly. We want them to give us the reason why they did so. We are not a political body. Even a political body has freedom to move, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. We were not doing anything against anybody.
“They should have come to ask us if they considered our action as a threat to the government. If they don’t give us an answer, then we will re-examine the situation.”