Niger Delta: Following recent pronouncement of CBN paying N5bn to Zamfara State Government for the sale of gold to the apex bank.
The PDP Chieftain and former Delta State Governorship aspirant, Chief Sunny Onuesoke has asked CBN to extend the same gesture to Niger Delta region by equally allowing the people to sell their own oil.
Onuesoke who made the appeal in a statement made available to newsmen argued that he had to make the demand because the recent sale of bars made from gold mined in Zamfara to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for N5b by the Zamfara State Government is a flagrant violation of Sections one and two of the Nigerian Mineral and Mining Act 2007, which vests the federal government with ownership of all the mineral resources in Nigeria.
He, however, alleged that the transaction between CBN and Zamfara State Government suggested that the Nigerian 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, applied only to the Niger Delta.
“I am saying this because Zamfara State gold was mined by illegal miners, whose trade has now been legitimized, while illegal refiners in the Niger Delta are hunted, arrested, prosecuted with their property destroyed.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government is yet to fulfill its promise to re-organise and legitimise the activities of illegal refineries in the Niger Delta.
“My thought is that If the oil in Edo, Delta, River and the rest were originally found in Zamfara, Kano, Gombe and the rest of northern state, I am afraid by this time there won’t be anything Nigeria,” he noted.
The PDP Chieftain said it is a cheating that while the Niger Delta has continued to shoulder the huge burden of the Nigerian State by sharing the wealth of the region with every part of the country, the North has continued to enjoy its huge solid mineral deposits alone.
Onuesoke who stated that he was at a loss why the Niger Delta oil should be for all Nigerians, while Zamfara gold is for Zamfara State alone, he disclosed.
“Gold, diamond and other precious stones found in large quantities in the north are owned, enjoyed and utilized by northerners. Oil and Gas fields ancestral to Niger Deltans are shared by all Nigerians.
How long are we going to sustain this corrupt and unjust system?”