By Anayo Okoli
UMUAHIA — FORMER President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Dozie Ikedife, has described Nigeria as an inflammable commodity that could explode anytime.
Ikedife, a delegate at the ongoing National Conference, warned that the country could explode, if the confab failed to handle the issue of derivation formula with honesty, seriousness and without unnecessary sentiment.
According to him, it is unfortunate that some delegates at the confab are trying to scuttle efforts to amicably settle the issue of derivation formula to the satisfaction of everybody, particularly Niger Delta people.
He noted that people of the Niger Delta had been suffering because of oil exploration and long years of neglect.
“With the stalemate on the issue of derivation formula Nigeria can be seen as an inflammable commodity and nobody should carry naked fire to where there is an inflammable commodity.
“This issue of derivation, if we push it to the bitter end it may end up in a way that an explosion will be in the face of all of us.
“Many realised that the quantum of unhappiness, quantum of anger is very high and we must not push the issue to the brinks of explosion,” Ikedife cautioned.
He said while some people like him were working assiduously to tidy up issues at stake, especially the contentious derivation formula, some others at the conference were busy drawing the issue back with personal goals they set out to achieve before arrival at the conference.
He said: “Some people from a particular section of the country are bent on ensuring that no meaningful decision was taken on the issue of derivation.
“They are not aware of what the people in whose community the mineral recourses are tapped or explored suffer or they know but deliberately want them to continue suffering, and are at the conference working to put stumbling blocks to the way forward to settle the issue.
He appealed to all the delegates currently on recess to “adjust their minds towards achieving meaningful decision on the issue when the conference reconvenes on August 11, 2014.”
Ikedife insisted that the Federal Government had given Nigerians an opportunity, through the confab, to resolve the contentious issue of derivation for the country to have peace.
Assessing the performance of the confab, Ikedife gave it a pass mark, but noted that the only reservation he had was on the issue of no-go areas as directed by the Presidency.
“Much as we obey the President’s directive, suppose the solutions to Nigerian’s problems are to be found in the no-go areas, should we not chase the solution into those areas?