The Federal Government has been advised to reach out to core oil producing and impacted communities if it is committed to finding competent representatives to dialogue in resolving renewed militancy and oil assets destruction in the Niger Delta.
An opinion leader in Ugborodo, Warri South West council area, Delta State, Pa Sandys Omadeli-Uvwo who gave the advice in Warri, said the Federal Government should rather be more worried about finding competent leaders than harping on credibility.
He said, “These PANDEF people may be credible in their own right, but some are not competent to speak on behalf of the entire Niger Delta because some are not from the core oil producing communities or even impacted areas. They won’t know what host communities suffer or how to develop the area.
“It not a question of writing lists, it is how to develop this area. These PANDEF people have either been chosen by government or by themselves. Many of them are not competent, they only gained prominence through crisis and have become traditional activists unable to achieve anything in this case.
“Those who would be competent and also be credible to negotiate with government would be people from core host and impacted oil communities. To get these persons, first and foremost, go to the oil companies, they know who their real landlords are.
“Let the core oil producing and impacted communities select from among them those they consider to be credible, it is then that both questions of credibility and competence will be effectively answered, not necessarily by education or political influence.