Youths of the Niger Delta region under the aegis of Young Democratic Movement in conjunction with South-South Assembly, have called on the Nigerian Army not to allow the federal government draw them into matters that are outside their constitutional responsibility.
They reasoned that if the army concede to the ploy by the federal government to co arse them into the protest, it would tarnish their reputation outside the country
This call was made by the leaders of Young Democratic Movement, Kuseme Idiong in conjunction with South-South Assembly Speaker, in Uyo, the state capital yesterday.
The text of their briefing entitled, ‘Actualise One Nigeria Apothegm on Zamfara Gold Not only on Niger Delta Oil’, they observed that, should the army be used in this period for the so called ‘Crocodile Smile’, the youth of the South-South would be forced to march through the streets if the federal government continue to glaringly exhibit elements of marginalization.
Therefore, they listed a five point demand to the federal government and gave 7 days ultimatum for what they alleged that, the federal government sold of gold bar by Zamfara state government to Central Bank of Nigeria.
The group recalled that, Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara state had sold gold bar worth over N6b to Central Bank of Nigeria, adding that, the federal government should allow Niger Delta region to sell their crude oil.
The statement red, “For the record, item 39 under the Exclusive List of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria [as amended], states that mines and minerals including oilfields, oil mining , geological surveys and natural gas are exclusively under the control of the federal government. The Nigeria Minerals and Mining Act 2007, which was passed into law on March 16 2007 to repeal the Minerals and Mining Act No, 34 of 1999 for the purposes of regulating the exploration and exploitation of solid minerals in Nigeria vested the control of all properties and minerals in Nigeria in the state, and prohibits unauthorized exploitation or exploration of minerals”.
The youths further called on the federal government, the Executive and Legislative arms of the federal government to rise against the act of lawlessness and impunity from the perpetrators of the Zamfara gold sales, details of past and present gold sales in Zamfara for sharing of proceeds to other states as the case of oil revenue.
They also demanded that the Federal Executive Council and the National Assembly should revisit derivative funds formula for oil rich Niger Delta states as oil producing states are fed below 13 per cent derivation as failure to review the derivative funds formula will result in Niger Delta states selling their oil as the case if Zamfara state.
“We give the Federal Government up till Saturday , October 24, 2020 to give a robust and satisfactory response to our demands else the youths of Niger Delta shall on Tuesday , October 26, 2020 embark on a nationwide protest drawing attention of the international community to this terrible situation . We must warn that we will not leave the streets until our demands are met.
“The Niger Delta have been a victim of bad government policies and rape by financial institutions. This is a season of change and revolution. We enjoin the youths of Niger Delta to come out with their utensils mattress and playing kits because we are not returning home our demands are met” they said.