‘Infantile musings’ — PANDEF reacts as ‘youth wing’ rejects Obi, endorses Atiku

The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has dismissed the endorsement of Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), by the “youth wing” of the forum.


In a statement issued after a meeting held in Bayelsa state over the weekend, the “youth wing” rejected the endorsement of the Labour Party’s Peter Obi by the PANDEF leadership.


Reacting to the development in a statement on Monday, PANDEF said there are no “wings” in the forum, adding that the youths who endorsed Abubakar were “ill-advised”.


The forum also said its support for Obi stands, adding that the decision to support the LP candidate is in line with promoting equity.


 “The attention of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, has been drawn to certain gibberish in the media, regarding the forum’s endorsement of Peter Obi, credited to a purported Youth Wing of the Forum, championed by one Vincent Oyibode, together with a few ill-advised persons,” the statement by Ken Robinson, PANDEF spokesperson, reads.


“PANDEF urges the public to disregard the reported rejection of Obi’s endorsement by the so-called youths; it is borne out of infantile musings.


“In the first place, PANDEF does not have ‘wings’. The forum maintains a consolidated framework at the national, state, and local government levels.


 “Furthermore, it is important to underscore that the said Mr. Vincent Oyibode is a serving Commissioner in the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC).


“It will, therefore, suffice to conclude that the buffoonery is sponsored by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, with the intent to deride the leadership of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, for not supporting his ill-fated vice-presidential ambition, but rather upholding the cherished and fundamental principles of fairness, equity, and justice.


“For the avoidance of doubt, PANDEF stands by the endorsement of Peter Obi by our National Leader and elder statesman, Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, and the affirmation by the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF), done in Abuja, on the 2nd of February 2023.


“Without equivocation, PANDEF’s endorsement of Peter Obi is sacrosanct!”


PANDEF added that while it has no personal issues against other candidates, it chose Obi because “he represents the Nigerian conscience, moral probity, generational hope, and redemption epiphany, among others, and remains the answer to the many problems confronting the country”.


“It is rather most unfortunate and shameful that at a time when well-meaning Nigerians, and particularly, patriotic youths, are zealously working to enthrone a new Nigeria, some inadvisable elements are erring because of ephemeral perks,” the statement adds.


“PANDEF will not be distracted by the misdemeanour but would instead intensify efforts to ensure Peter Obi’s victory in the Niger Delta region.


“PANDEF cautions youths in the Niger Delta region not to succumb to the antics of greedy politicians and to shun all acts of violence before, during, and after the forthcoming elections.


 “PANDEF further urges the entire people of the Niger Delta region, and indeed, all Nigerians, who believe in the unity, peace, stability, and sustainable development of the country to embrace the candidacy of Peter Obi in the 2023 presidential election, while noting that the basis of any viable democracy, especially in a diverse and complex country such as Nigeria, is fair and even sharing of power.”

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