OrderPaperToday- A member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Farah Dagogo, has taken issues with some recommendations of a partisan committee on restructuring the country led by the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai.
Mr. Dagogo especially disagreed with the specific recommendation which asked that while onshore mineral resources be moved to the concurrent legislative list, offshore resources be left on the exclusive list.
The lawmaker’s position was contained in a statement issued on Wednesday in his office at the National Assembly titled ‘the APC led Nasir el-Rufai’s Committee report on Federalism; True or Trick Federalism?’.
Recall recently that governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) set up a Governance Programme Steering Committee to evolve a common governance template for themselves and also revisit all policy initiatives and recommendations, including those recommended by the Gov. Nasir el-Rufai led Committee on True Federalism.
But Farah Dagogo, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member representing Degema/Bonny of Rivers State, countered, saying the committee’s report was ‘ferocious, very inglorious and capable of heating–up the fragile peace which had been achieved, particularly in the Niger Delta region’.
He warned that the recommendation is laden with bad intentions as the people of the Niger Delta would not fold their hands and allow the Nigeria nation rip it off once more under any guise.
“While the Committee would want unsuspecting Nigerians to be hoodwinked by its gimmicks, it is instructive to state unequivocal that the report was targeted at short changing a section of the country – the Niger Delta whose land has continued to produce the black gold that feeds the Nation, yet, the people are bemoaned and afflicted amidst affluence which defines the natural endowment of the area,” he said.
He added: “How do you reconcile the Committee’s line of thought that Nigeria should be bold enough to move away from over-centralization and in another breath, call for all offshore oil to remain absolutely vested in the government of the federation? That to me is double standards.
“Nobody should be deceived: the said offshore belongs to states and majority of them are situated in the Niger Delta. Nigeria’s extant laws defined the geography of the country as land mass with seas and rivers forming the corresponding states.”