By Cletus Opukeme, Abuja
There is looming crisis in Niger Delta following Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to negotiate payment of Zamfara gold and other precious stones with N50 billion as a direct sales to the federal government.
The Niger Delta region which region oil and Gas deposites have been sustaining the nation’s economy over 50years with no comensurate compensation and the the environment left polluted with serious health challenges have picked up challenges, warming up a mother of all protest against federal government double standard in its treatment of region whose natural resources were found.
The Ijaws, Urhobo, Isokos and other ethnic nationalities have been meeting over a concrete date to flag-off a protest tagged #motherofallprotest in Niger Delta region to demand federal government for justice.
In a press statement sent to Daily Watch and signed by the National coordinator patriotic Ijaw Youth leaders forum, Comrade Sammy George has declared
“The current glaring practice supported by the President Muhammadu Buhari led Administration, has become an eyesore and an effrontery on the emotions and sensibilities of the Niger Delta People.
“Recall that the President directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to buy GOLD from Zamfara State after a presentation of the prescious metal before the President by the Zamfara State Governor at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
“The extraction of GOLD by Zamfara People despite the provisions of the Mineral Act and Land Use Act although both military legislations which unilaterally nationalized Niger Delta Oil and Gas, is an indication of double standards within the Nigerian State apparently established by Military Leadership heavily dominated by the North and Western extractions respectively is a gross indication of bias, inequality and inequity against Niger Delta People.
“Therefrom, it is imperative that the Niger Delta People through the Assembly of Niger Delta Indigenous Peoples (ANDIP) should no longer fold our hands and watch this damning injustices meted against us for over 50 years since 1966. As a Co-Federating Region of the Nigerian State, we must do this base on the fact that our agreement in 1959 before the formation of a Nigerian State whose political authority rests in the hands of Indigenous Peoples, will be a state where all regions are Semi-Autonomous and will control their respective resources”
According to him, “We also declare that the Federal Ministry of Petroleum should now be Niger Delta Petroleum Agency and the Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation should be Niger Delta Petroleum Cooperation. The CBN must begin to buy Crude Oil and Gas from the Niger Delta People and all Niger Delta Governors must work together to ensure the setting up these offices in the Niger Delta Region. We must control our resources same way the North is controlling their resources because freedom is not freely given by the oppressor.” He said.