…Vows To Resist It
The Ijaw National Congress (INC) has condemned moves by the National Assembly to include Lagos, Ogun and Bauchi states in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) saying that the Ijaw nation would vehemently resist such moves.
The Publicity Secretary of INC, Engr. Ezonebi Oyakemeagbegha said this in reaction to a motion raised on the floor of the Senate by Senator Adeola Solomon (APC Lagos) for the inclusion of Lagos, Bauchi, Ogun, among others, into the NDDC over an alleged frivolous discovery of oil in the states.
Fielding questions from newsmen in Warri, Delta State, Oyakemeagbegha maintained that there was no iota of truth in that claim.
He said: “Niger Delta region is geographically defined, well established and as contained in the report of Sir Henry Willink commission of 1957, therefore, one wonders the motive of the Senators to include states that were not in the Niger Delta region to the jurisdiction of the interventionist agency.
“This is a despicable move, it is absurd that a Senator, who is believed to be abreast of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, as amended and a lawmaker for that matter, will come up with such a bill to include states in the North and West as part of the Niger Delta, just on a claim of discovery of oil in such states.
“It is essential to emphasize that the NDDC was established to address the age long impact of oil exploration and exploitation on the region and the degradation that such activities have caused.
“Such Senators might be benefitting from the crisis and unrest in some parts of the country. Including the listed northern and western states as part of the Niger Delta region is capable of igniting unrest in the country.
“Recalled that only recently, the Senate passed the Petroleum Industry Bill and robbed the host communities by reducing funds accruing to them from 30 percent, which they demanded to three percent and redefined host communities to include communities with no trace of oil production. The current move is a further aggression, which will be highly resisted.
“I am sure these people are taking our meekness for weakness, but that is certainly not the case because when you don’t want to allow a sleeping dog lie, then be ready for its bite.
“President Buhari and the nation should hold Senator Adeola Solomon and his cohorts responsible for whatever action that we may be taken as a consequence of their move. Enough is enough,” he added.