Oil And Gold Belong To Niger Delta And Zamfara Respectively Not Nigeria

 By Chief Malcolm Emokiniovo Omirhobo 

LAGOS DECEMBER 31ST (NEWSRANGERS)-The  recent proposition of  Former President Olusegun Obasanjo that Oil belong to Nigeria and not Niger Delta   aroused my indignation to an unimaginable degree.  I am angry  not because I find his position to be very  wrong and a  bundle of falsehood  but because  he is deliberately miseducating   and   misinforming Nigerians on  important issues like  true fiscal federalism and restructuring of Nigeria . It remains an incontrovertible fact that  the  Nigerian Federation as presently constituted is built on a pack of lies and thus   can never be  true no matter how hard people like  Obasanjo   try .

Obj can fool and deceive the young generation  with rhetorics and grammar but not me and my generation.  It may interest our children to know that Obj  was the undertaker of the funeral of the 1946 , 1951 ,  1954 , 1960 and 1963 constitutions . As military head of state  he in 1979 supervised their replacement  with the 1979 constitution which the  1989 and 1999 Nigeria  constitutions  are essentially fashioned after .

Obj ‘s current statement that Oil belongs to Nigeria and not  the people of the Niger Delta  clearly shows that he  does not stand for restructuring , true fiscal federalism and a unified  progressive Nigeria where there is peace ,  equity and justice. 

Obj ,    his co military juntas and  cabals are  responsible for   the state of quagmire that we find ourselves in Nigeria today . They have  foist on us a military decree with the cover page of a constitution without our consent .  With this evil and  fraudulent document they have so far  successfully protected   their loot  of our  common wealth,   hoping and fighting hard  to sustain it  until they die .  Small wonder Obj can today  posit  mendaciously that it is   wrong and unconstitutional for the people of Niger Delta region and the people of Zamfara  to lay claim to the  mineral resources found in the area.  Small wonder today Obj  has the effrontery and temerity to say:   

“No territory in Nigeria, including the minerals found therein, belongs to the area of location and this remains so until the federation is dissolved” .

Today the people of the Niger Delta are treated like animals and nobody cares  Today  the rest of the country is not  affected by the soot that is slowly killing them . Nobody is talking about the degradation of their environment by reckless pollution . Nobody cares about the abject poverty in the Niger Delta . The people can’t farm and they cant fish  to sustain themselves .

It is  a shame  that Obj under the guise of statesmanship  interprets the  people of the Niger Delta demand of what rightfully  belongs to them as unconstitutional and   tribalistic . There is nothing to negotiate as Obasanjo suggested because , it is the dictates of true fiscal federalism that the   oil  deposits  in the Niger Delta belongs to the people of  Niger Delta and the gold deposits in Zamfara  belongs to the people of  Zamfara and not Nigeria .

Obj should fear God and  stop turning the  law ,  common sense and reasoning on their  heads because I don’t see how the issue of resource control amounts to us   having  two sovereign entities within  in Nigeria  .  In the United States of America oil  is owned by the surface landowners,  private individuals, corporations, Indian tribes, or by local and  state governments without them having two sovereign states within America .Let the truth be told ,  the people of the Niger Delta owning their oil and the people of Zamfara owning their gold will not amount to Nigeria having two sovereign entities. 

It is  incorrect for Obj to clam that because the  territory of Nigeria is indivisible therefore it’s  resources found therein belong to Nigeria and not to the component part where the resources are  located . This may be the position of our fraudulent constitution but not the position  of the  international law as Obj claims . 

Obj erred when he tried to support his arguement that   the oil of  Niger Delta people  belongs to Nigeria   with defence of the Niger Delta by the  Nigerian Federal government.  Hear him: 

 “If there is a threat of violence to any part of Nigeria today, including the Niger Delta, it is the Nigerian Military, backed by any other machinery that can be procured or established at the federal level, that will respond to any such threat”.  

This arguement is very baseless and useless because in all Federal system of government like Nigeria and  America  the defence of the entire country is the sole responsibility of the central government notwithstanding who owns the natural resources in it. If we follow his line of arguement then it will be correct to say that  because the oil in Alaska belongs to individuals and the State of Alaska, then  the central government in Washington , will not be duty bound to defend Alaska from an attack by Russia  or if the oil deposit in the Nigeria belongs to the people of the Niger Delta then the Federal government in Abuja is not duty bound to defend them from an attack from the Republic of Cameroon. 

The truth of the matter is that,  It is most unfair, unjust and inequitable for   Obj’ or anybody’ to  propose  that those domiciled in the locations mineral resources  are entitled to have  more of the material benefits accruing from the  minerals when in actual fact they are entitled to everything and only  owe the central Government  tax  as it was done  in 1963 . Obj and co should be  ashamed of themselves   and seek forgiveness from our creator for  heaping on Nigeria an unworkable system that has retarded the growth of Nigeria where every component part go to Abuja with their plates every month to  get a slice  of what belongs to the people of the Niger Delta instead of working hard  like in  the pre military incursion  into politics when there was healthy competition amongst the regions who  built their roads , established their universities , hospitals , schools and ran their economy from the proceeds of what was generated from their  regions only paying tax to the center .

Frankly,  if  the people of Niger Delta and Zamfara are left to own   their oil and gold  paying tax to the Federal Government,  other   component states will strive to   tap in  on their own human and  natural resources instead of being unproductive   because as it stands today there is no poor state in Nigeria.

Chief Malcolm Emokiniovo Omirhobo  a Human Right lawyer writes from Lagos

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Posted by on Dec 31 2021. Filed under Features, National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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