PANDEF to FG: Turn Sambisa to Cattle Colony

From Patrick Odey, Uyo
The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has asked the Federal Government to turn the vast Sambisa Forest recovered from the Boko Haram insurgents to Cattle Colony.
In a communiquA� jointly issued by Senator Anietie Okon, Senator Ibok Essien, Nduenso Essien, Dr. Effiong Edunam and Prof. Brenda Akpan after a meeting of Akwa Ibom State chapter of PANDEF, the elders stated that the recovered territory was large enough to accommodate all the cattle and headsmen in Nigeria.
The forum which is an umbrella body of oil-producing states in the Niger Delta warned that it would not allow the creation of cattle colonies in any state in the region.
Instead, it called on the government to listen to Nigerians on the restructuring of the country, which it said, would end the myriads of problems facing the country, including the incessant killings of innocent citizens by Fulani headsmen.
PANDEF sympathised with the people and government of Benue State over the massacre of residents by armed herdsmen, and frowned at the lack of political will by the Federal Government to bring the situation to an end.
Senator Okon also expressed concern over the upgrading of the Maritime Academy by the Federal Government to a full-fledged University of Maritime Studies and urged it to expedite action on the school as approved by the previous administration.
The elders backed Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuela��s call for increased allocation to the state and the full implementation of the 13 per cent derivation policy.
They said that recent happenings in Nigeria have compelled people from the region to come together to pursue a common course for the betterment of the state, adding that, a�?the saying: a�?United we stand and divided we falla�� may be very old, but still very relevant. If we must succeed, we have to come together and speak with one voicea�?.

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