Asari Dokubo, a Niger Delta activist, claims that if President Muhammadu Buhari had his way, the Niger Delta region would have received nothing in the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, as equity sharing to host communities.
Dokubo stated this in interview with Punch, on Sunday.
Even though the region had campaigned for a 10% equity share, the PIB, which has already been passed into law, provides for a 3% equity stake for oil-producing communities.
Dokubo, the leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Salvation Force, reacted by saying that the region’s three percent equity stake is an insult.
He, on the other hand, noted that given President Buhari’s history, he was not astonished by what he had done.
He said he was not surprised with what the President had done based on his (Buhari’s) ante
He said, “It is one of the greatest insults that have ever befallen the region. I am not surprised with the character of the (President Muhammadu) Buhari regime. Even the three per cent earmarked for the region, I am sure Buhari is not satisfied with that. If
he had his way, he would have wanted us to have zero per cent.
”That is his antecedent. That is the way he behaves. I am not surprised. Anybody can read him perfectly. The so-called political elites are totally captured. They are so afraid and lily-livered that they cannot say anything.
”He (Buhari) has sent it back for an amendment, (admitting) that it doesn’t have geographical spread. Do his appointments have geographical spread or respect Federal Character?
“So, in the midst of these things, one does not want to talk any longer, because the people you are talking to do not even appreciate what you are saying. The analysts will come and call you all sorts of names. I am now part of the ‘siddon look’ group.”
Further on the subject of restructuring, Dokubo stated that such a concept will not thrive under the current Buhari administration since things are going to deteriorate.
Rather than calling for restructuring, he urged that Nigeria revert to the Republican constitution of 1963, which he regarded as a people-centered document.
“Why would you put all of us under one frail-looking elderly man named Buhari?” Dokubo asked. Buhari’s reorganization? If this were a democratic country, no journalist would have asked such a question. Buhari has no authority to reform anything. The people have the power to agitate for what they want.
”What is restructuring? Nigeria in 1960 was created as a federation. There is nothing like restructuring or anything else. All these other constitutions are from the military and they are illegal.
“They do not emanate from the people. Imagine the 1963 Constitution, which emanated from the people. If we go back to this constitution, it would be very clear. But people do not want justice. They want oppression. When you push people to the extent that they cannot pass through the wall, they will turn against you and fight.
“So, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. When we reach that point, nobody will talk. For me to say Buhari should restructure.
Buhari does not have the capacity to restructure, because it is not in his hands, and I will not even be where Buhari is restructuring anything.
“If he restructures, he would restructure us to one dollar to N600. Go to Lagos-Benin Expressway and see the restructuring that Buhari is doing there. Is it in our educational system, where people score as low as 80 points in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations and they are admitted into the university?
“That is the sort of restructuring that Buhari can do. We had legal documents that were available. Let us go back to the 1963 Constitution. That is the constitution that can lead us, and we can use that as a starting point.”