MOSOP, Dokubo, others to FG: 83% oil blocks for northerners must be reviewed

THE NATION Newspaper

MOSSOP, Dokubo, others want oil blocs allocation reviewed Ex- militant leader, Alhaji Asari Dokubo and the President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Mr.Legborsi Saro Pyagbara have called for the review of oil blocs allocation in the country.

This is on account of the allegation that over 80% of the oil blocs in the country are owned by Northerners . Most of the country’s oil blocs are located in the Southsouth. Senator Ita Enang, representing Akwa-Ibom North, sparked the rage on Wednesday after telling those opposed to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that their opposition to the 10 per cent host community fund by mostly Northen senators was ‘misplaced’.

Reacting to the allegation yesterday,ex- militant leader, Alhaji Asari Dokubo, asked President,

Goodluck Jonathan to immediately revoke the licences.

“We must sound it clear to our brother, Jonathan, that if he fails to do something about it, we shall take our destiny on our own hands,” he said.

“It’s not a threat, but a warning to our brother to act fast. According to the leader of the Niger/Delta Peoples Volunteers Force, the revelation has brought home to Nigerians the reason behind the restiveness in the Niger Delta.

Asari said: “Can you now see what we have been fighting for? We own the oil and we are suffering for it. Is it a curse to have oil in our land?

“Now, you see why these Northerners want to die in power.The oil we have is being controlled by them. Is that not funny?”See, let me tell you, if Jonathan fails to revoke the licences, we will take our destiny in our hands. We will not sleep any more for people to take what belongs to us. Nigerians must stand to resist a set of cabals that turned our country to their personal empire.

“One single person is richer than Nigeria. They are sucking our blood. Our land is being destroyed every day. No water, we can’t fish anymore; the land is polluted. Yet, none of our people in the Niger/Delta controlls an oil bloc.”

Also reacting,the President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Mr. Legborsi Saro Pyagbara said the domination of the oil industry by one section of the country is unfortunate.

He said : “The oil producing communities in the Niger Delta deserve more than 10 per cent. That is not what we agreed on, but we can take off from there. For now, the 10 per cent is a basis for the way forward. We expect the 10 per cent to be calculated on gross profit and not net profit of oil companies operating in the Niger Delta.

“The fund will take care of the future without crude oil and gas, for the communities not to be abandoned like Oloibiri in Bayelsa State, where crude oil was first discovered in commercial quantity in 1956, when the crude oil in wells of current producing communities dries up.

“Nigeria’s oil and gas industry is dominated by one section of the country, which is quite unfortunate. Where is the much-talked-about federal character? Niger Deltans are being marginalised.

“We must look at the oil industry again. The sector must be open for participation of all Nigerians.”

But the leader of the Ijaw Monitoring Group, Comrade Joseph Evah,said Senator Enang’s allegation is not really new.

“It is not new in any way. We have always known the truth for a long time now.” Evah said.

He blamed President Jonathan for refusing to give Niger Delta people the opportunity to own oil blocs.

“We told our brother to allow us to own oil blocs, but he said that we are not qualified to have oil blocs.” He, however, said he is not angry with Northerners for owning the oil blocs.

“The truth is that I am not in any way angry with the North. And any Niger Delta man who is angry with them is stupid. “The North is wise. They are intelligent and patriotic for taking our oil.” Evah blamed politicians from the Niger Delta for the lopsidedness in the allocation of oil.

The National Youth Leader of the Middle Belt Youth Forum, Hon. Jonathan Asake,said the revelation has proved wrong claims that the current insecurity in the North is caused by poverty in the region.

According to him, hinging the violence in the North on poverty cannot be true when the region controls about 83 percent of the oil blocs in the country. “Is it not a shame to discover that Northerners have cornered a whooping 83% of the oil wells of this country, yet no programs, scholarships or other efforts put in place to remove the plight of the Northern masses.

“Except Gen. T.Y. Danjuma who has put in place a foundation for charity and has been involved in the development of education in Nigeria it is sad to note that instead of applying their ill-gotten wealth to develop the North, these selfish, thieving Northern leaders stash their wealth abroad and come back to apportion blames, blackmail government, brainwash and incite the poor masses whom they have left illiterate and in abject poverty to begin to kill and maim perceived enemies.

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) in its reaction to the allegation said: “Given the important constitutional provisions that access to all national resources be equitable and conform with provisions for federal character, ACF wishes to appeal to the National Assembly to investigate the allegations and publish the distribution of oil blocs according to state together with their volume and from which dates.

“Or the federal government should institute a commission of enquiries to establish the veracity or otherwise of such allegations. ACF is alarmed by the allegations because it is not long ago that the Forbes magazine said eleven Nigerians are now on the list, and that all of them-except Dangote who is a manufacturer-owe their riches to oil.

“The North had fewer of the rich Nigerians on the list than the South. We believe knowledge of the correct position of things will help in improving the equitable management of oil blocs in accordance with provisions of the federal character for performance and public good”.The Rivers State Chairman of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Chika Onuegbu and the President of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Miabiye Kuromiema,also spoke on the development.

Mr.Onuegbu urged members of the National Assembly, especially those from the North, to consider the plight of the people of the oil producing communities, who bear the brunt of oil exploration and exploitation activities, as well as pollution and environmental degradation.

Onuegbu said: “It is quite revealing and exposes the dangers associated with the exercise of discretionary powers and a further reason why all discretionary and excessive powers in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) should be removed, because they do not serve the interest of the country.

“It also showcases the beauty of democracy, as it allows for debate in the National Assembly, which strengthens the legislative process.

“Nigerians now know who the real beneficiaries of the country’s oil and gas wealth are.”

Mr. Kuromiema said: “We (Ijaw youths) take gladly and gracefully the rejection by the political class, especially the governors, legislators and AFC leaders, the 10 per cent profit from earnings of operating companies to be given to host communities, through the provision in the PIB of the Host Community Fund (HCF)

“While they have given to themselves, structured control, through their number in the National Assembly, as their idea and sense of power to decide our political and economic destiny, we are very conscious of what powers God has given to the nations of the Niger Delta. We notify them that the battle line will soon be drawn and the final decision on our destiny will not be decided in their national parliament. This will be very very soon.

“The aspirations of most nations of Nigeria, outside most of the ruling political class, is for total restructuring of this false Nigerian federation, to an order where consensually agreeing consociational units take full control of their human and natural resources and pay appropriate taxes, for agreed common services to be managed at the central government.

“We will reawaken the resource control struggle and commence action, to include engaging with nations of Nigeria, particularly minority nations in the Niger Delta and Middle Belt and those of Oodua and Igbo, to explore joint ideals.”


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