IJAW YOUTH COUNCIL (IYC) WORLDWIDE PRESS STATEMENT
IJAW YOUTH COUNCIL (IYC)
May 26, 2014
WHY WE AGREED TO RETAIN 13% DERIVATION – OBONG ATTAH: A BETRAYER OF TRUST
The attention of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Worldwide has been drawn to an interview granted by Obong Victor Attah, Former Governor of Akwa-Ibom State and published in the Vanguard Newspaper and other national dailies on Sunday 25th of May, 2014 wherein he said that South-South Delegates who served in the National Confab committee on Devolution of Power to agree to retain 13% derivation because of national interest and to avoid succession. We have carefully read the statement and wish to react as follows:
1. That Niger Deltans read the said interview with disappointment and regard it as a complete betrayer of trust. Obong Victor Attah and other South-South Delegates who served in the Committee on devolution of power and agreed to retained 13% derivation did so on their own and not on behalf of the Niger Deltans. The Niger Delta people have a common position on the issue of resource control which cannot be changed unilaterally by Obong Attah and its co-travellers. It is disappointing that Obong Attah, a former advocate of resource control could justify retaining 13% derivation considering the fact that the 2005 Obasanjo’s political Reform Conference had recommended an increase in derivation about nine years ago.
2. The IYC regards the national interest and threat to succession which Obong Attah cited as their justifications for retaining 13% as feeble and unjustifiable. The legitimate demand of the Niger Delta people to control their resources in line with tenets of federalism cannot in any way amount to threat to national interest. In any case, the Niger Delta region has sacrificed enough by bearing the hazards of laying the golden egg that sustains Nigeria.
3. The IYC notes with disappointment that same Obong Attah as Governor of Akwa Ibom State was at the forefront of the clamour for resource control. For Obong Attah’s to display a complete volte-face years after he had left office and had the golden opportunity of advancing the case for resource control clearly shows that he was clamouring for resource control while in office as a strategy for political survival. It is a betrayer of the trust Akwa Ibomites and Niger Deltans reposed in him. It is pertinent to note that one of the reasons Obong Attah was re-elected for a second term in 2003 was because of his consistent demand for resource control.
4. The Niger Delta people would in due course meet and sanction Niger Delta delegates who are betraying the position of the region on resource control and derivation in the ongoing National Confab. The IYC call on Niger Delta delegates to boldly stand in defence of resource control during the debate on the report of the Committee on devolution of power in plenary as the position taken by Obong Attah and a few others does not represent the position of the region.
Signed for Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Worldwide this 26th day of May, 2014.