Fully armed policemen and operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), early morning today, sealed off Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, Rivers State’s venue of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum’s (PANDEF’s) General Assembly, allegedly because of security threat.
Also sealed were all the roads leading to the five-star hotel, owned by the Rivers state government, with the accredited delegates from all the nine crude oil and gas-rich states stranded.
After waiting for many hours at the hotel’s entrance, with none of the security personnel ready to speak, it was gathered through the telephone from one of the leaders of PANDEF, who would not want his name in print, that PANDEF’s leader, Chief Edwin Clark, 90, who arrived Port Harcourt on Tuesday and lodged in Hotel Presidential, is currently presiding over an emergency meeting of some of the leaders the forum inside the hotel.
The source disclosed that at the end of the meeting, a communique would be issued, in order to know the next line of action.
PANDEF’s general assembly in Port Harcourt that was aborted by security personnel, was to elect officers of the forum at the national, states and local governments, as well as elect members of PANDEF’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Advisory Committee and ratify the constitution of the forum, among others, with PANDEF said by its leaders at Monday’s news conference in Port Harcourt to be on the same level with Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF).