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Constitutional Review: We’re Going To Ask For Oil Blocs, State Police – Clark




As the national assembly constitutional review committee set to commence its work, Elder statesman and Ijaw national leader, Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, says the South-south region would be asking for a State Police as part of measure to end militarisation of the Niger Delta.

Clark said that military occupation of the Niger Delta region in the pretext of protecting vital natural assets, is no longer fashionable because according to him, most of the army personnel posted to the area are actually into bunkering activities in the region.

“The South-South will also ask for a State Police, and not this method of the military permanently occupying the zone in the pretext of protecting our vital natural assets, whereby the actual bunkering is perpetuated by some of them in collaboration with unpatriotic local people.


“The South-South region, popularly known as Niger Delta will take to the table those items for which we have always agitated at every Conference such as those held in 2005 and 2014. These issues include derivation or resource control.

“The Northerners, who do not have oil, are today the owners and managers of the Industry. We will insist on the Local content Act.

“Today 85% of the senior appointments in the oil industry go to the North. This is very unacceptable. We regard it as offensive and unconstitutional where for instance, out of 15 very senior appointments, 10 went to the North, three to the South-West, two to the South-South which producers over 80% and none to the South-East which also produces oil in Imo and Abia states.


In an interview with Vanguard, Clark is also pushing for the abolition of the Equalisation Fund Act whereby fuel is sold in Sokoto State at the price as it is sold in Bayelsa State, should be seriously looked into.

He said that the Niger Delta region also deserved to be awarded oil blocs from the natural resources produced in the area.

“All Oil blocs and lifting of Oil are given to people from outside the South-South, thereby impoverishing the people of the Region to the extent that they depend on the Federal Government for development at all time, thereby making them stooges without voice because some people feel power belongs to them absolutely.


“These other politicians control the political parties because the wealth is in their hands, wealth which they generated from the Niger Delta Region.

“When we speak out, it is regarded as confrontation by those who hold the power.

“The landscape of the Region is polluted, the ecosystem destroyed. The 13% provided for in the 1999 Constitution as amended, has not been increased for 20 years now.


“Every attempt by South-South Delegates at various conferences particularly in 2005 was opposed by Northern delegates.

“It is for this reason that we are demanding for the restructuring of the country by going back to the 1963 Constitution which provides for Derivation or Resource Control whereby 50% of revenue accrued in a Region is retained by the producing Region to manage itself, while the remaining 50% is shared between the Federal Government and the Regions including that which contributed it.

“We went through this in the 2005 Conference and only 18% was approved. We rejected it and asked for 25%. The South-South Delegation under my Leadership staged a walk-out. Even 18% recommended was not implemented.


“Same argument arose in the 2014 National Conference, and as usual, the Northern Delegates opposed any increase and so no recommendation was made. But the matter was referred back to the President”.

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