Politics Tension As Police Disrupt PANDEF Meeting In Port Harcourt



A major crisis appears to have rocked the Pan-Niger Delta Forum as a crack team of policemen on Thursday blocked two main entrances to the group’s Presidential Hotel conference venue in Port Harcourt.

The heavy presence of security operatives on the road leading to the venue prevented some PANDEF members and other stakeholders from joining the meeting.

It was gathered that a counter group, which was said to have broken away from the forum, was behind the police presence at the hotel.

Though no reason was given for the development, a security source said the police presence outside the venue of the meeting was to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order within the place due to a perceived disagreement among members.

Many who attempted to get to the venue of the meeting through GRA in Port Harcourt were turned back by fierce-looking policemen, who blocked the two entries to the road leading to the conference venue.

It was learnt that the security operatives were at both ends of the road as early as 6.30am to stop any vehicular movement on the road.

When queried, a police officer replied “We are acting on orders. If you want to enter the Presidential Hotel, you can take the other way. There is an opening at the back of the hotel.”

It was, however, gathered that some members of PANDEF had met with the leader of the forum, Chief Edwin Clark, even as a member of the group, who did not want his name mentioned, cautioned that no resolution taken in a hotel room would be binding.

Speaking, the President of the youth wing of PANDEF, Mr. Famous Daunemigha, said, “We just ended the meeting. They tried to frustrate us, but we later went in and had a meeting. We don’t know who wants to frustrate us; it is just that the security apparatus said some militants were threatening.

“I have told the military personnel that as far as I am concerned, those who made the statement threatening PANDEF are laptop militants. The RNDA is a laptop group and we don’t know them; we don’t recognise any of its members.

“We had our meeting; we had our resolution. We are a strong platform and if some people are trying to misbehave, we will not join issues with them. As I am speaking with you now, we are having our lunch after the meeting. Journalists were not there (at the meeting) because they (security operatives) stopped you people from entering.”


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