The Youth wing of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) on Tuesday rubbished the endorsement of Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar by its parent body.
The youths, who were furious over the purported endorsement, said it was a handiwork of Pa Edwin Clark and other few hungry old men.
Distancing themselves from the action of the elders, the youths said the endorsement amounted to nothing since the vibrant wing and foot soldiers of the group were not part of it.
“It is the handiwork of desperate dying old generation of elders, who have no integrity”, they said.
The endorsement of Atiku tore the socio-cultural group apart with the Publicity Secretary of PANDEF, Chief Sara-Igbe Anabs, saying the action was never discussed in the group’s meeting.
Chief Sara-Igbe said: “The leader can say anything, but it should be on record that PANDEF has not met to take any of such decision.
“As far as I am concerned, we have not met as a body and besides, the constitution of PANDEF bans the forum from being partisan”.
Also a statement signed by the Youth Coordinator of PANDEF, Famous Daunemigha, leaders from Edi and Delta state, General’ Don Ben and Abule Ateh, described PANDEF as apolitical.
The statement insisted that the endorsement of Atiku by a few elders was null, void and unconstitutional.
The statement said: “PANDEF never endorsed Atiku, because what you saw is a bunch of old dying generation that lack intergity.
“PANDEF is a well-organized body, made up of a very well enlightened people cut across the whole of Niger Delta states.
“PANDEF has a constitution, we are apolitical. It is just a bunch of old men who collected money from Atiku and Obi, trying to fill their pocket even when they are dying.
“PANDEF never had any meeting, or Congress, where we agreed to endorse any political party. What they did was done by just some few greedy old dying men lacking integrity”.
Daunumeghe said the few elders involved in the endorsement were moneybags, who acted against the constitution governing an organisation they formed because of their selfish interests.
He said: “It’s very clear; we cannot use PANDEF to endorse anybody. The constitution says that we should be apolitical. We all have rights to support whatever political party but we are not allowed to endorse any person or a candidate.
“The few people you saw there, are just bunch of like minds, Chief E.K Clark, the chairman of PANDEF, some other PDP members who are there, who feel that they are losing election, they felt they want to use regional bodies to advocate for votes but they will fail.
“PANDEF has not met; we never had a Congress at any time, to decide such an endorsement”.
He called on well-meaning and law-abiding youths to disregard the ranting and antics of few old men, who were disgraced in 2115 election.
He said: “They are aware that by this action, they have disgraced themselves and as far as we, the youths are concerned, they can never gather in any place.
“Every time they are in government, they want to eat from government money freely, that’s why our state governors, cannot even develop our state because when they just give these few elderly people some few money, then they (elders) will go to the press, and make statements in support of such government.
‘That’s is why the Niger Delta region is still lagging behind in development. They are gullible elders without any self-dignity.” (The Nation)