Wednesday May 23, 2007
Public Statement on the State of Nigeria
The Pan Niger Delta Action Conference/Council (PANDAC) supports calls by national civil society, umbrella labour organisations and opposition political parties for mass actions and strikes to demand the cancellation of the April 2007 general elections, which were characterised by massive government sponsored fraud.
PANDAC members, as all citizens of Nigeria inhabiting the Niger Delta know that there were no elections in all the states of the Niger Delta. All stages of the electoral process, beginning from the registration of voters, were manipulated by the governments and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to produce predetermined results. On the days of the gubernatorial/state assembly and presidential/national assembly elections, citizens across the states were denied the right to vote, as election material were not made available. In many cases, citizens watched helplessly as thugs representing the ruling party hijacked ballot papers and boxes with the support of state security personnel and officials of INEC. As local and international observers had pointed out, INEC and government agents brazenly allocated fictitious results to the candidates of the ruling party.
The rape of the peoples mandate is a continuation of the looting of communal and national resources by soldiers and politicians that have left our peoples impoverished. Today, despite the enormous revenues to the governments of the Niger Delta and Nigeria, a cabal of thieves in power have stolen everything leaving us without electricity, clean drinking water, decent education and healthcare facilities. Our roads and other infrastructure have either decayed or collapsed completely. Our peoples now live with hunger, diseases, frustration and death.
We call on all Nigerians and the peoples of the Niger Delta in particular to challenge this affront on our collective survival, as we cannot continue to sit back and allow our destiny to be crippled by a few political thugs.
While we commend the protest action of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), we call on the peoples of the Niger Delta to participate in the mass actions and strikes as called by the Nigerian United for Democracy (NUD), civil society and labour. This is the time to reclaim our destiny.
We are convinced that only an interim national government and a reconstituted INEC can organise free and fair elections for Nigeria.
PANDAC is shocked by the action of foreign governments that have supported the outcome of the general elections for caring more for oil and gas than the suffering people of Nigeria. In particular, we are worried that the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who assumes Presidency of the Group of Eight (G8) industrial nations in January, has invited Umaru Yar’Adua, the controversial Nigerian President-elect to the G8 summit in Germany. It is shameful that despite the clear assessment of international observers of massive rigging of the Nigerian general elections, the G8 wants to confer legitimacy to the product of crime.
Continued Detention of Alhaji Dokubo Asari
PANDAC is concerned about the continued and illegal detention of Niger Delta activists including Alhaji Dokubo Asari. PANDAC condemn the trumped up charges against Dokubo Asari as an act of state harassment and judicial conspiracy, which is reminiscent of the evil state treatment and subsequent murder of Ken Saro-Wiwa in 1995. The Obasanjo government abducted Dokubo Asari not because of its false claims but as an attempt to subvert the mobilisation of our peoples to join the peaceful movement for the restructuring of Nigeria.
The Obasanjo regime by its repressive actions has succeeded in exacerbating the tensions in the Niger Delta area, which is product of the disenfranchisement and impoverishment of the people.
We wish to repeat our call on the Federal Government to release Alhaji Dokubo Asari to restore an atmosphere for dialogue in the Niger Delta and Nigeria.
The Continuing Violence in the Niger Delta
While we regret the unfortunate kidnap of foreign oil workers and pray for their freedom, we note that for 50 years the real victims of the oil and gas exploration and exploitation business in the Niger Delta of Nigeria have been the community members that have become impoverished and continue to suffer abuses from election rigging and destruction of livelihoods.
When doors to peaceful representation are closed against the people leaving them to a fate of arrests, trumped up charges and murder (as suffered by Ken Saro-Wiwa and other Ogoni leaders) while elections are manifestly rigged to disenfranchise the people, there is an invitation to anarchy.
Signed for PANDAC:
Isaac Asume Osuoka
Wari-Alabo Kalada Jene
Great Commonwealth of the Niger Delta
United Action for Democracy, South South Zone
Nigeria United for Democracy, South South
PANDAC is a coalition of representative organisations, human and environmental rights organisations and community groups in the Niger Delta peacefully and actively campaigning and mobilising our peoples to continue alternatives in the struggle to secure social and environmental justice for the peoples of the Niger Delta and Nigeria. PANDAC is member of UAD and NUD.
For further information contact:
Isaac Osuoka 08033099494