Frontline human and environmental activist, Ms Annkio Briggs has declared that the north has been using political advantage against the south to disburse the resources of the Niger Delta.
Ms Briggs made the declaration during a paper presentation yesterday in Abuja.
She said that using such advantage, the 19 states of the north receive 57% of allocations while they bring 0% to the table.
Speaking about the perceived political imbalance cum inequality, she said:
“It is no longer acceptable that 2 regions North and South Protectorates amalgamated in 1914 on equality and justice, decades after and using the military, the North ends up with 19 states, 419 LGAs, 53 senatorial seats and 191 House of Reps seats.
“The South ends up with 17 States, 357 LGAs, 51 Senatorial Seats, 169 House of Reps seats.
“This political injustice, and inequality guarantees our extinction and perpetual oppression and we will no longer accept it.”
She elaborated how the north has been bankrupting the south economically predating the amalgamation of 1914, saying:
“1900 till date the south have been providing for the north economically. [The proofs of this statement are contained in the records of the Annual report of the colonies]
“These records predate the amalgamation of 1914 that gave birth to pre independence Nigeria till independence.
“These records show that between 1900 and 1913 the north was in deficit, while the south was in surplus.
“The north was receiving grant-in-aid from the Imperial Treasury & Southern Nigeria to Northern Nigeria.”
The renowned activist further presented the breakdown of the state’s allocation the 19 states of the north, how they receive 57% while bringing 0%:
– The 419 LGAS of the north receives 55%
– The 17 southern states receives 43% of what they bring
– The 355 LGAS of the south receives 45%
Citing the National Bureau of Statistics [NBS], she broke down the contributions from oil and gas from the south of Nigeria to federation account as follows:
South East – 2.7%
South West – 3.95%
South South – 91.54%
Elegiac, she cited a case of almost 13 years ago whereby Niger Deltans partnered with BFIG, bid and won the sale of the Akwa Ibom based Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria (ASCON).
However, she brooded, “once it became clear that Niger Deltans were involved in the business, the sale was frustrated and after several years in court, and despite 3 Supreme Court judgements and orders the Nigeria state have refused to hand over the company.”
She stressed that the people of Niger Delta have lost faith completely in Nigeria as even Supreme Court judgement/ orders can’t give them equity and justice.
“The economic oppression and deprivation is clearly demonstrated to the extent that nearly 90% of the privately owned oil blocks of the Niger Delta are owned by people from the north,” she said.
Briggs, therefore, called for restructuring, federalism, referendum, self-determination as the panacea to the woes bedeviling the country.
As solutions, she proposed “that we give ourselves a timeline of no more than 12 months to arrive at –
a. the 6 geopolitical zones to have equal representations the National Assembly.
b. the 6 geopolitical zones own, control and manage their resources, paying tax to FG.
c. the ports in the Niger Delta managed by the state, and the federal government manage the immigration and customs.
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