Some stakeholders in the Niger Delta region have insisted on resource control as the only panacea for the development of the region as well as equity and justice in the Nigerian State.
The stakeholders made their views known during a random chat with The Tide recently.
A group known as Ogoni Youth Federation, said resource control was the only solution to fiscal federalism in Nigeria.
President of the group, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, who told The Tide that the time had come for the country to correct the defect in the country’s federal structure, noting that the only panacea for true federalism was resource control.
“The restructuring of Nigeria as a country is imminent, Nigeria can only survive as an egalitarian society when it responds to the imperatives of justice.”
He added that the Niger Delta region had carried the economic burden of the entire nation over the years with little or nothing to show in terms of the development of the region.
“We cannot continue to give our more to receive our less, the country must restructure and give the Niger Delta people the right of direct ownership and control of their resources,” he said.
A foremost Niger Delta activist, Ann Kio Briggs, who also commented on the issue, emphasised the need for Nigeria to restructure to justify its averred claim to federation.
“Nigeria is only a federal state by name; but unitary by practice, a situation where the oil resources of the Niger Delta is controlled from Abuja is hypocritical and a mockery of federalism. It is overdue for this anomalies to be corrected to make Nigeria a true federal state.
“Indigenous people must have rights to their resources so as to develop at their own pace,” he said.
The Niger Delta activist said restructuring should be the fundamental objective of the 2019 general election, noting that only candidates that supported restructuring should be voted for.
Another Niger Delta activist and founder of the Niger Delta Coalition Against Violence (ND-CAV), Comrade Lekia Christian, also called for the total overhaul of the present structure of the Nigerian State.
Comrade Christian said the future of the country depended on restructuring.
By: Taneh Beemene