The ranks of the Pan Niger Delta Forum(PANDEF) have been divided over the endorsement of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, by the leaders of the group.
Recall that some regional leaders and socio-cultural groups from the six geo-political zones of the country on February 3, endorsed Atiku’s candidature and adopted him as their consensus candidate for the 2019 presidential elections.
But the youth wing of PANDEF on Tuesday, denied reports that the body endorsed Atiku, describing the endorsement as null and void.
After an emergency meeting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, the youth wing of the group condemned what they tagged “the desperation of an old dying generation of elders that lack integrity.”
The Publicity Secretary of the group, Chief Sara-Igbe Anabs, said at no time did they meet as a body to take the decision to endorse Atiku.
Sara-Igbe said, “The leaders can say anything, but it should be on record that PANDEF has not met to take any 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.”
The group in a statement signed by its Youth Coordinator, Famous Daunemigha, after their emergency meeting on Tuesday said PANDEF was apolitical and therefore the endorsement of Atiku by a few elders was null, void and unconstitutional.
Daunemigha said there was never a meeting and that the people who did the endorsement and made the announcement did so on their own.
“It is very clear, I am an APC member, but I’ve never used PANDEF at any point because we know that the constitution says that we should be apolitical. We all have rights to support whatever political party but not to endorse any person or a candidate,” he said.