On January 28 in Port Harcourt, the Social Development Integrated Centre (Social Action), in collaboration with other civil society and community groups, organised the Pan Niger Delta Conference. The aim was to put together the zoneâ€™s positions on national issues ahead of the national conference. The meeting resolved that the mandate of the national conference should be to restructure Nigeria into a truly federal state where the component ethnic nationalities own and control their natural resources with residual powers residing in the constituent units.
The conference resolved. â€œThat the historical demands of the Niger Delta peoples for resource control, fiscal federalism and environmental justice must not be reduced to infrastructural politics. What the Niger Delta peoples need now is freedom to actualize themselves to their full potentials, and self-determination within a united Nigeriaâ€¦
â€œThat representation at the National Conference should be based on ethnic nationalities, and the resolutions of the conference should be ratified by a referendum organised in line with the principle of â€˜peopleâ€™s suffrageâ€™ as opposed to universal suffrage. By â€˜peoples suffrageâ€™ the conference means the votes of the various nationalities that make up the country.â€