2019 Elections: A Referendum on Restructuring, Governor Dickson …Says N/Delta Has Contributed N96 Trillion to National Coffers

Bayelsa State Governor, Honourable Seriake Dickson has renewed his call for a multi-party committee, towards harmonizing critical areas of agreement to enable the APC led Federal Government facilitate the presentation of the necessary bills that could bring about a restructured Nigeria.

Governor Dickson made the call, when he received the report of the Committee on Restructuring and other matters affecting the Ijaw nation in Yenagoa.

A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Francis Ottah Agbo reaffirmed Governor Dickson's urgent call on the APC led Federal Government to put the machinery in motion, before the next general elections in 2019.

According to him, "with the support of the Peoples’ Democratic Party and other political parties, the federal government can push through, in the quickest time possible, before the next general election, the necessary bills that can bring about a restructured Nigeria."

Making reference to the report of the Restructuring Committee, Governor Dickson said, in spite of the huge oil revenues the country has earned from the Niger Delta over the years, areas such as Brass, Forcados, Ogulagha and Bonny where crude oil terminals are located remain inaccessible by road.

"We have never lost faith in this country and the statistics that you have brought out shows it clearly of all those stories of our sacrifices and commitment to Nigeria.
" You said LNG alone has generated over N11 billion in the last 10 years and you are working with their own figures.

"You said also that from oil revenues from our territory, that Nigeria has earned over 96 trillion naira and you say this country makes over 52 billion naira daily and yet, in the midst of this sacrifice, even as we speak, there is no road to the terminals from which this money is made. No road to Brass, Forcados, Ogulagha and Bonny, that is the plight of our people and yet we continue to believe in Nigeria."

Governor Dickson, who noted that, the people of Ijaw nation would be mobilized to join other well-meaning Nigerians to canvass support for a restructured Nigeria, stressed that, the 2019 election would be a referendum between the proponents of true federalism and those opposed to it.

"For us as a people, 2019 election is going to be a referendum. It’s going to be an election that will separate those who are for a restructured and equitable Nigeria and those who are opposed to it. Our people will be mobilized at all levels to stand by and support those who want an egalitarian Nigeria."

"Your report deals with a very important issue of how our people will survive within the context of a united Nigeria, how we can achieve a stable sustainable, progressive and prosperous Nigeria that is immuned from most of the internal problems threatening to tear it apart.

"Unless we have a stable Nigeria where everybody is happy, treated fairly and have space to manage their internal affairs and grow at their own pace, and yet be in one stable big country, we can't have a peaceful and sustainable Nigeria.
" Our country can only be stable when all parts of the country are stable. Those of us who seek a stable, restructured and equitable Nigeria,  that can be preserved from generation to generation. We are proponents of  a strong united progressive Nigeria, not enemies of Nigeria. Those if us who are asking for a restructured Nigeria are the real believers in the Nigerian project."

"I want to thank all our leaders for believing in Nigeria even with what our people have gone through and continue to go through. We have never list faith in this country and the statistics that you have brought out shows it clearly of all those stories of our sacrifices and commitment to Nigeria."

Presenting the report, Chairman of the Restructuring Committee and other Matters of the Ijaw Nation, Prof. Dagogo Fubara, said the document, which is in 3 volumes capture the Ijaw position on the issue of restructuring the country.

Prof. Fubara also noted that, as the 4th largest ethnic tribe in the country, the report recommended the creation of two additional states of Toru Ebe and Oil Rivers States.

He added that, the report demanded the enthronement of true federalism, operating a fiscal regime as well as special funding for the Niger Delta to address development challenges, including environmental remediation.