The Ijaw Youth Council (IJY), the umbrella body of the Niger Delta youth, has demanded for amendment of the Constitution to allow each region harness its resources and contribute to the centre.
The group expressed it’s readiness to do this “even if it means to be killed by the trigger-happy and the Niger Deltaphobe military Joint Task Force in the region”.
According to IYC, the call has become imperative due to the aspiration of the Niger Delta people to control the resources in their lands since solid minerals in the North are now reduced to individual ownership in spite of the enabling laws in the country vesting ownership of natural resources in the Federal Government.
Pereotubo Oweilaemi, IYC President, said they won’t lay low when aware of the illegal mining activities in the North where powerful individuals are allowed to tap the natural resources in their domain.
”If the Nigerian laws did not mean anything to the illegal miners of solid minerals in the North, then Niger Delta people will also take control of all petroleum resources in the southern region notwithstanding, the constitutional provisions. Niger Delta oil cannot be subjected to family ownership to Nigeria, while solid minerals in the North are being extracted by those concerned as individual ownership,” he said on Saturday.
”It’s either the government restructures the country by allowing states to harness and control the resources in their domains or we will take every step necessary to exercise control of the resources in our fatherland.
”Despite the fact that illegal mining activities are causing a bloody crisis in the North, the Federal Government has not deemed it necessary to set up a military joint task force to checkmate the illegal mining activities because the solid minerals in the country are seen as private ownership to the feudal Lords. There cannot be one Nigeria if everybody in the country is not treated with the same measure.”
”Every day, people have being killed and property worth billions of naira destroyed in the name of illegal oil bunkering activities by the marauding Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta region. The FG chose to protect the oil facilities at the expense of the oil-bearing communities because crude oil is seen as a national property, while solid minerals in the North belongs to the individual persons. Is this the one Nigeria they are preaching?
”President Buhari and the National Assembly should, as a matter of national importance, initiate the amendment of the Constitution by allowing states to harness and control the resources in their domains. That is the only sour path to peace in Nigeria. Anything short of that will be disastrous to our economic survival as a nation. Niger Delta people will control her resources even if it means to be killed by the trigger-happy and the Niger Deltaphobe military Joint Task Force in the region.”
SaharaReporters, New York