JOE EFFIONG, UYO
Akwa Ibom State leaders have expressed grave concern over the Nasir El-rufai-led APC committee report on restructuring, which tends to reintroduce onshore/offshore dichotomy in oil revenue sharing, warning that it may lead to Nigeria’s disintegration.
The APC in the state however expressed worry that the expected true federalism would adversely affect the state and as such the status quo be maintained.
The Akwa Ibom Leaders Vanguard led by the former Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen Anietie Okon, in a statement released in Uyo on Thursday said the hurriedly packaged APC report on restructuring of the Nigerian federation has once again exposed the evil agenda of the party.
“Fundamental among the recommendations of the APC Restructuring Committee is the swathed recommendation on resource control. Regrettably, the party’s position on resource control clearly prognosticates an irredeemable disaster for Nigeria.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we want to state explicitly and unambiguously our concern and consternation about the ambivalent and duplicitous position of the APC as it is clear to every discerning mind that the APC is a party in disarray. For instance, in his New Year speech, President Muhammadu Buhari clearly considered restructuring an anathema that should not be contemplated. Juxtaposing that with the position of the APC as a party represented by the El-Rufai’s committee that on the face value seemingly supports restructuring, it is dangerous to say the least.”
The Vanguard while stressing that the APC government is a bunch of confusion, wondered why the APC national chairman, a former governor who is expected to fully appreciate the real essence of federalism and the aspirations of Nigerians on the subject, would be part of a defective and deceitful promises.
“This exemplifies the height of dishonesty and an attempt to pull the wool over our eyes. It is frightening that, chieftains of the party in the South-South are dangerously quiet over this calculated attempt to subtly reduce through back door, the vexed onshore/offshore oil dichotomy that has long been settled in Nigeria.
“For every discerning mind, the president is averse to restructuring Nigeria, though other factions of the party seem favourably disposed to tinted restructuring. While waiting for the APC to come to terms of the true federalism that has been overwhelmingly endorsed by Nigerians as the only credible pathway to sustainable development and continued existence of Nigeria as an indivisible virile and strong nation, we call on APC leaders in Akwa Ibom State to stand up and be counted at this critical moment in our nation’s history, especially as it affects the people of Akwa Ibom State.
“Nigeria is at the threshold of history that will make or mar her as a nation. We are saying no to illegal reintroduction of a settled matter of onshore/offshore dichotomy. It is an expensive joke taken too far. Nigeria might not survive this one. Our patience has been stressed to its elastic limits,” Akwa Ibom leaders said.
But the Akwa Ibom State APC chairman, Dr Amadu Atai said the party in the state had boxed itself into a corner by joining to seek true federalism which invariably means that only resources onshore would belong to the state while those offshore belong the federal government.
“The onshore/offshore issue that came up that time was not settled; it was only a political solution. But if you want to replay back on true federalism you will lose that. True federalism means the resources of that state belongs to that state. Offshore oil belongs to the federal.
“So we are in a fix now. We the APC that supported true federalism did not know that it was coming to affect Akwa Ibom State. So we are going to present a paper to them (national leadership of the party) on this matter that they should allow what was done to remain. They should allow the political solution to remain while going ahead with the true federalism,” the APC chairman said.