An NGO, Advocacy for Advancement of Peace and Harmony in Africa Initiative (ADAPHAI) has raised the alarm over what it termed a divisive tendency of the Northern region of Nigeria.
The group, through a press statement signed by it’s National Coordinator, Comrade Sulaimon Suberu, the copy which was made available to newsmen on Tuesday, alleged that some clauses in the newly passed Petroleum Industry Bill are tactical plot by the North to push their southern counterpart to the wall of provocation.
According to the statement, the proposed 30 per cent of the oil proceeds for oil exploration in the frontier basins, while 3 per cent is being proposed for oil producing communities signifies structural injustice of high magnitude.
ADAPHAI maintained that such move by the Northern region, leveraging on it’s dominance of Nigeria’s political space constitutes a serious threat to the continuity and survival of Nigeria as a corporate entity.
It also carpeted the leadership of the National Assembly for allowing such clauses in the bill, arguing that the legislature has a big role to play in ensuring justice and fairness as an instrument of sustaining emerging democracy like that of Nigeria.
The group insisted that those clauses in the bill that negate the popular interests of Nigerians, especially communities in the Niger Delta, who bear the brunt of adverse effects of oil exploration and exploitation should be quickly expunged to save the country from imminent upheaval.
The statement read, “As an organization with a mandate to propagate peaceful co-existence and blow whistle against any divisive tendency, it is therefore imperative to caution some sections of the country with sectional agenda that could put the country in disarray.
“There is a sufficient evidence, which was corroborated by media report that the clause in the PIB of the 30 per cent profit from oil proceeds to search for oil in the frontier basins of the North, while the oil producing communities would be entitled to only 3 per cent was a resolution at the meeting of certain Northern leaders, including high ranking government officials of Northern extraction and traditional rulers.
“What could be more provocative than proposing the larger chunk of proceeds from people’s natural resources to pursue uncertainty elsewhere, while the owners get the least from such proceeds. This is the greatest form of injustice to say the least.
“We are worried whether President Muhammadu Buhari, whose region is the proposed beneficiary of this fraud, is not aware of this or he is comfortable with such a dangerous move.
“While we support realistic and genuine moves to expand the revenue generation capacity of Nigeria through creative means, the very instance in Bauchi State, where billions of naira have been expended in the endless search for oil makes one skeptical of the new move in the Chad basin”.
ADAPHAI, therefore, commended the Southern governors on their position against certain clauses in the PIB, as it enjoined them to be resolute in defending the superior interests of their people and Nigerians at large.
The group also extolled them on the courage exhibited to douse tension between herders and farmers through the ban placed on open grazing.