APC Restructuring formula: Akwa Ibom People, What is your Position?
By Matts Udoaka
This message is a clarion call for all Akwa Ibom people to get up and join forces to fight what remains as the evil of APC; otherwise our silence will impoverish this generation of Akwa Ibom until the posterity blames us. The acid test question before us is where shall be the position of Akwa Ibom people in the restructuring formula of John Odigie Oyegun of the APC? If you are an Akwa Ibom person, you need to ponder over this issue, and ask yourself this pertinent question. The question has a sour taste that remains in our mouth, because what we are seeing now is crawling towards Akwa Ibom people and will gradually snowball into a cataclysmic nature that controlling it will draw our breath so drastically if we continue to remain tacit as we are now.
Remember, that in 1999/2000, when His Excellency Arc. Obong Victor Attah was on the saddle as the Executive Governor of this state, the poverty that subjugated this state was so much that Akwa Ibom state was a shame to mention when talking with other states citizens, or to identify with, if not being courageous as a tiger in the midst of the citizens of other states. Akwa Ibom state, demeaned and denigrated by other state indigenes was nothing to write home about. No one dare mentioned Akwa Ibom then, as a state that produces a spoon of crude oil. The boom and oil apparatus only ended in the states like Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta. However, as we look at the turn of events in our country today, Akwa Ibom is truly number one when grouped in alphabetical order among the states, and number one when grouped among the rich nations of this country. This is because God has eventually used a single person to actualize his perfect will that had identified this state as the best among equals.
For that will of God to manifest, that person had to sacrifice himself, his time, amass enemies for himself, sacrifice his reputation and risked his life travelling always for this state to redeem herself from the web of the monumental poverty and gain its pride of place. That gentleman, who did all that, was not a spirit but a man who had determined to fight a good fight with the love of this state at his heart, to ensure that Akwa Iboms map is inscripted with bold pen to depict her greatness.
Who must that person be? He is Mr. Resource Control, whose tenacious action to get what is due for Akwa Ibom state was devoid of trepidation and self aggrandizement. Who is this Mr. Resource Control? He is non-other than His Excellency, Obong Victor Attah, who by no stretch of imagination stuck out his neck to challenge former President Olusegun Obasanjo (OBJ) who was holding fast to off-shore/on-shore oil dichotomy on sharing of the revenue, as it concerned Akwa Ibom State.
Arc. Obong Victor Attach has met the former President eye ball to eye ball, in the court of law and gave his trenchant thought-provoking statement that added to other issues of compromise to make the then President to listen to him. The governor also, lobbied other concerned Nigerians to reason along his line of argument, and did all he felt was necessary to convince the Supreme Court that Akwa Ibom State deserves to be in the comity of oil producing states. At least, President Obasanjo acceded to the voice of wisdom to bring the political solution option to bear on the thorny issue. It then became a battle well fought and won by God for the Akwa Ibom people. Minus God, the political solution shouldnt have our way. Right from creation, God has been using people to perfect his will. He did it severally for the Israelites. This time in this era, he used Obong Victor Attah to do it for Akwa Ibom State, and now this state is the highest beneficiary of Gods given resources that abound in our state.
Now, after the last President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan had brought out the National Conference idea in readiness for restructuring, he selected a hoard of credible men from all the states of the federation to brain storm about the foot-dragging restructuring issue which is meant by God to elevate the South-South that has remained the axe which hews the wood, but sleeps outside under a chilly cold weather. The APC government, which is anti-South-South progress, has willy-nilly come to look at the content of the restructuring perspectives, rehearsed, and eventually exhumed the dead and buried doctrine of on-shore/offshore dichotomy that has for long been thrown away.
Mr. John Odigie Oyegun, of Edo State, who is not pleased with the progress of Akwa Ibom state, has gone back to unearth the on-shore/off-shore political paradigm that had loosed it contention in the history of this country. This is the way the enemies of the progressive South-South states have been battling to put this state into perpetual poverty. Its a gang up between himself, some Yoruba traitors and their Fulani President. Their decision is unacceptable, and it remains for them alone.
In APCs understanding, the rivers and ocean that abound in Nigeria are flowing by itself. They have no meaning for Nigerians. In that case, the Pacific Ocean has nothing about Japan or South Korea, so any good thing accruing from the pacific must belong to the entire world. Oyeguns report is irrelevant, as it does not address the grey issues that have ignited the yearning for restructuring. Of course, when another party takes over next year, a lot of soul searching reforms would be carried out.
Yet, with this dark recommendations to the restructuring arrangement that was handled by good people, in 2014 my question still goes to the Akwa Ibom State government to tell the world and indeed Nigerians, where they are now, and what position they have taken to forestall the implementation of the dark recommendations. I also venture to ask what Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio is doing in this circumstance. Where is Oro Nation and Ati Annang at this crucial moment of garnering sundry effort to block the rebirth of giving off-shore oil revenue to the Federal Government whereas the on-shore should belong to the states? This decision is deliberately grafted to stifle the revenue base of the litoral states; and it will not work out for them now that every effort is geared toward drilling oil in the Lake Chad Basin. Of course, this backward recommendation will help delivering the next federal government to another party. Sure that will happen, come 2019.
Sure, the Ibibio/ Oro nations are aware that the Ijaw nation which shares the same fate with the Akwa Ibom has taken a position to cancel the evil plan of the APC. Akwa Ibom should note that this is not the time to continue with our Nsibehe attitude that does not allow us to move for our right. Its time to note that our crude which places us on top, is extracted from the river and high sea in Mbo, Eket, Ibeno, Easten Obolo and Ikot Abasi, as Uruan is gearing up for it commercial production. It is time to work together to block any action from the National Assembly on this Oyegun/ APC recommendations that cannot stand the test of time if Nigerians mean about self sustainable development.
If we keep quiet and watch, shall this state be able to pay pensions and other perquisites to the retirees? Where shall payment of school fees and sponsorship of the SSCE and NECO examinations come from? To walk pass this evil machinations of APC now, every segment of Akwa Ibom society needs to gird their loins and stand up for the retention of every oil revenue, be it off-shore or on-shore revenue. Our legislators must strengthen the resolve of every Akwa Ibomite. Teachers must not sit at the fence to watch because any negative action on revenue allocation would affect them most.
More so, APC, the conscript of peoples right must be condemned unequivocally for trying to bring back the sad evil which Nigerians had done away with, over the years. His Excellency Arc. Obong Victor Attah must not allow his legacy to be extinct so soon. It should rather be given a 100 percent to the states as other mineral resources are being proposed. We need to stand up for this our right now.
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