Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Bello Masari urged Niger Delta leaders to come clean on how they have spent oil money allocated to the region over the years.
“For six years,” Masari said, “we had a Niger Delta president. Let us see what difference he made in six years when he was president. When the excess crude account became pocket money, how much of the money went to the Niger Delta?”
In an interview with The Interview, Masari Niger challenged Niger Delta leaders to “come clean” on how they have managed the region’s resources.
Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of the magazine, Mr. Azu Ishiekwene said in a statement yesterday that “Masari fired on all cylinders. He took on Senate President Bukola Saraki, explained why (former president Olusegun) Obasanjo’s alleged third term bid failed and spoke at length, for the first time, on ‘budget padding.’ And, then, he removed his gloves on his predecessor, Ibrahim Shema, and the Niger Delta.”
Although Masari did not name names, the reference to a Niger Delta president pointed to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, under whose presidency oil price averaged $100 per barrel.
Asked what he did to ensure accountability of oil money when he was speaker of the House of Representatives and also a ranking member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the time, Masari simply said: “The House of Representatives has been friendly to the people of the Niger Delta than any other institution in the country.”
He also alleged the Federal Government to publish how much the region has received since the 13 percent derivation started.
The resurgence of violence in the Niger Delta by Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) in since last year has led to massive losses in the country’s oil revenue and peace efforts have stalled.
At the weekend, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu said the federal government has spent over $40 billion in the region in the past 12 years.