Against the threats by some Niger Delta militants to declare former Vice President Atiku Abubakar a persona non grata in the region following the on-going crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Niger Delta youth leader, Comrade Timi Frank has dismissed the threat as empty and falling flat of common sense.
Reacting to the position of former warlords under the aegis of Leadership Peace and Cultural Development Initiative who made the threat at the weekend, Comrade Frank said the position depicted the ignorance of the group and only showed total lack of understanding of the crisis in the PDP.
The Youth leader said it was wrong for the group to declare Atiku or indeed any Northerner and Nigerian involved in the current crisis a persona non grata as the issue at stake was purely a party matter that should be devoid of tribal, ethnic, religious or regional sentiments.
“It is on record that The Niger Delta region and it’s youths have benefited immensely from the vast business interests of the former Vice President even as till date it remains to be challenged that Atiku remains the single highest employer of labour in the Niger Delta region and has empowered both investors and politicians from the region like no other Nigerian has,
making him the bridge builder between the North and the South South region.
“The PDP crisis is not a regional crisis but purely a party affair. While it is not out of place for interests in this circumstance, to be galvanised as is being done by the former Niger Delta warlords for President Jonathan, doing so with revert to threats only shows the total puerile manner that some persons understand the crisis and are wanting to drag the nation into
war for obvious selfish reasons,” the youth leader said.
Comrade Frank reminded the group of the enormous role the North played in the enthronement of the Jonathan Presidency, noting that a strong tie existed between the North and South South region and will outlive the Jonathan Presidency.
While calling on the security agencies to immediately arrest and prosecute any individual or group(s) that aim to incite the public through inflammatory statements, Comrade Frank also called on the security agencies to remain neutral in the ongoing crisis as actions such as the sealing off the New PDP secretariat was unlawful and could lead to eventual breakdown
of law and order.
“Let it be on record that the squabble in the PDP is not about oil blocs and allocations in the Niger Delta, nor is it of amnesty and the struggles therein. The crisis in the PDP is purely a bid to instil party tenets and ideology through the enforcement of party democracy.
“Neither Atiku nor the G7 governors are fighting a selfish cause nor a regional cause. The crisis in the PDP is purely a battle between progressives in the party and those opposed to party democracy. We believe that it is also the intent of the struggle to also save the President from those that are misleading him.
It is about the future of the PDP and the zeal to ensure that the ideals of the founding fathers of the party are not sacrificed on the altar of chauvinism and sheer self centeredness, “Comrade Frank posited.
The youth leader asked Atiku, the G7 governors and other party stalwarts committed on revamping the PDP and taking it back to the people not to be deterred as the progressive youths of the Niger Delta region know when to draw the lines between orchestrated mischief, party interest and national interest.