National Confab: Demand Full Resource Control,IYC Charges Southern Delegates
BEVERLY HILLS, CA, May 02, (THEWILL) â€' The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has charged Southern delegates to the ongoing National Conference in Abuja to demand total resource control in their deliberations at the conference.
The charge was in response to the resolution of the Obong Victor Attah's led Confab Committee on Devolution of Power as IYC said it is not yet Uhuru.
The committee had said both Southern and Northern delegates to the ongoing National Confab had agreed and resolved the contentious issue of resource control by retaining item 39 of the Exclusive Legislative List which relates to mines, minerals, including oil fields, oil mining, geological surveys and natural gas.
The report also added a modification to the item that the Federal Government in exploring for petroleum resources in any part of the country should involve the states where the resources are deposited.
But in a reaction on Thursday, IYC raised some posers to the committee's report, saying it would continue to push for total control of resources derivable from the Niger Delta region.
The group therefore urged southern delegates and others to demand for total resource control during the debate on the report of the Sub-Committee on devolution of power.
The statement by IYC's spokesman, Eric Omare,said; 'The IYC wishes to state that the resolution arrived at by the Committee raises more questions than answers and does not address the age- long demand of the Niger Delta people for the control of their resources.'
The group said: 'If the Federal Government would retain the right to ownership of petroleum resources, then in what manner would the states where oil deposits are found be involved or participate?
'What is the nature of the participation? Would the participation be at the whims and caprices of the Federal Government or it would be defined in an act of parliament?
'Can a state where resources are deposited initiate the process of exploration and exploitation?
'By the modification, is the Federal Government obliged to consult with a state before embarking on granting licences or entering into Joint Venture Agreement? These and other questions are begging for answers!'
According to IYC, the demand of the Niger Delta people for the control of their resources entails having control of the way, manner and rate at which the petroleum resources found in their land are explored and exploited.
'This cannot be achieved by the Niger Delta States being ordinary participant in the process of petroleum exploration without having control.
'The IYC wishes to state that it is not yet Uhuru for the Niger Delta people as far as the struggle for resource control is concerned.
'The IYC would continue with the demand for total control of petroleum resources in the Niger Delta. This is the only way the future of the Niger Delta people can be guaranteed.
'We therefore call on Southern Nigeria delegates and all delegates who wish Nigeria well to demand for total resource control during the debate on the report of the Sub-Committee on devolution of power.
'The recommendations of the sub-committee on Devolution of Power are obviously not far reaching enough.'