Niger Delta youths under the auspices of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) Youth Wing have rejected the national leadership of PANDEF’s endorsement of Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi.
According to news reports, PANDEF chairman Edwin Clark endorsed Obi while criticizing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Vice Presidential candidate, Ifeanyi Okowa.
But, following an emergency meeting on Sunday at the PANDEF headquarters in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, the leadership of the PANDEF Youth Wing declared their support for the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
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The National Deputy Youth Leader, Vincent Oyibode, stated in a communiqué issued following the meeting that Clark and other PANDEF officials were on their own with Obi’s blessing.
Clark and other officials, according to Oyibode, did so without consulting stakeholders, particularly the PANDEF youth body, which consists of national officers and state chapter chairs.
He contended that every meeting in which significant decisions were to be made required the participation of all national executive officers and state chapter chairmen.
The communique reads, “There was no time PANDEF ever held a meeting to debate the need to participate or take a position as a group on the 2023 general elections and that those who purportedly endorsed Obi at that meeting spoke for themselves and not PANDEF and the South-south region of the Niger Delta.
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“The major focus of PANDEF is to promote sons and daughters of the region on issues of public interest that bear a direct and indirect impact on the well-being of the Niger Delta people, as that is the constitutional aim and objective of the PANDEF constitution.
“That the same persons, without any meeting with stakeholders, have given an ultimatum to a son of the Niger Delta, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to drop his ambition for reasons best known to them and that this does not have the blessing of the youths of the region.”
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