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PANDEF Replies IPOB On Behalf Of Edwin Clark, Insists South-South Is Not Part Of BIAFRA

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PANDEF (Pan Niger Delta Forum), a social-political group representing the interest of the South-South zone of Nigeria, has described as a shame a statement being circulated on the social media against elder statesman, South-South leader, Chief Edwin Clark, credited to the spokesman of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Emma Powerful.

Emma Powerful, spokesperson for IPOB, while reacting to an interview granted to BBC PIDGIN ENGLISH by Edwin Clark, where the elder statesman described as ‘UNREALISTIC’, the purported taken of South-south region as part of Biafra, has said Clark has “no mandate to speak for Niger Delta on Biafra because he is a general without foot soldiers”. 

However, in a statement signed by Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, the National Chairman, PANDEF, and former Deputy Chief Whip of Nigeria’s Senate, PANDEF reiterated that the South-South is not part of Biafra and will remain so unless it wants to leave Nigeria on its own terms.

The statement reads in parts “The preposterous expressions in the said article could only have emanated from deluded and demented minds, and are quite indicative of the silliness of the IPOB officialdom.

“It is a shame that they cannot differentiate between fact and fantasy. This stupidity would erode any sympathy they had hitherto received from the South-South Geopolitical Zone.

“Let us restate, without any equivocation, that the Niger Delta Region is not part of Biafra and that no inch of the South-South Geopolitical Zone shall be part of any imagined “Republic”.

“It’s rather naive for IPOB or any other group to consider that Niger Delta region would be part of any arbitrary contraption. If it becomes necessary for the Niger Delta people to pull out of this country, we shall do so, on our terms.

“Regarding the unsavory remarks, it’s needless to mention the privileged credentials and contributions of the iconic nationalist and esteemed nonagenarian, whose life is a rich source of inspiration to many, within and beyond the borders of Nigeria.

“Nevertheless, since the IPOB belligerents are so juvenile and uninformed, it would suffice to state that the influence and significance of Chief E. K. Clark transcend the South-South Zone and the Niger Delta.

“He is an unswerving voice that resonates across Nigeria; for decades, speaking out against oppression, discrimination, and marginalization in the Country.

“Over the years, the highly respected Chief who was a Federal Minister of Information, and Distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic, has in his capacities as an educationist, politician, public servant, lawyer, lawmaker, community leader and nationalist, continued to play vital roles to stimulate unity, peace, and development in the Niger Delta Region, and Nigeria, at large.

“Working with other patriotic Nigerians, including the leadership of the apex Igbo Socio-Cultural Organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and eminent personalities of Igbo extraction, towards the realization of a better Nigeria, where equity, fairness, and justice would reign, and which, he remains doggedly committed to, even at age 94.

“Though PANDEF assumes no well-meaning Igbo son or daughter would sanction the aspersion by IPOB on our respected National Leader, however, we would insist that the Leadership of the Igbo Nation denounce the irresponsible statement by IPOB, and tender a public apology to the Elder Statesman, and, indeed, the entire Niger Delta people, in the interest of healthy relations between the South-East and South-South Zones.

“Anything short of that would be inferred to be tacit approval of the balderdash of IPOB,”.

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