Chief Edwin Clark, a prominent Ijaw leader, has accused the federal government of Nigeria of neglecting the South-South region which generates the country’s largest income through oil.
The Ijaw leader alleged that only members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the northern region benefit from crude oil revenue.
He made the submission on Friday while speaking with BBC Pidgin.
Chief Edwin Clark further expressed support for the position of the southern governors who had kicked against the allocation of 3 percent operating expenditure of oil firms to host communities, and rejected the proposed 30 percent of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) profit for the exploration of oil and gas in the basins.
Clark also described the provision and allocation of 30 percent of profits in the bill for further frontier oil exploration in the north as “satanic and unjust” accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of neglecting the oil producing areas.
“I support their decision. Even when they wanted five percent, I disagreed with them. We want 10 percent. We want to be part of the oil industry. The northerners have all the oil blocks; they don’t produce any oil,” he said.
“For instance, in 2005, when we had the same problem at the political conference held in Abuja, this same issue came up. We produced a paper at that conference and one of it was to show who are the people benefitting from the oil without contributing a kobo to the economy by the form of oil producer.
“We discovered that north-central takes about N48 billion yearly without contributing anything to the federation account apart from what is produced. We are talking about oil and gas. North-west took about N49 billion; north-east, N45 billion; south-west took about N49 billion. They contribute like less than four percent in Ondo. Then the south-east, between Igbo and Abia, contributed like 2.5 percent at that time and got about N25 billion naira.
“Where are the south-south? We got N140 billion and how much did we contribute? More than 91.5 percent to the coffers, yet, today we are the poorest. Have you ever seen where wealth is produced in your backyard and you are the poorest?
“We are the most neglected. Those who benefit from the oil come from other areas. The oil passes through my backyard, but if I want to benefit from it, I go to meet President Muhammadu Buhari ‘can I benefit from this oil?’ He will say ‘yes, provided you are an APC member’.”