By Godwin Oritse
A group, Itsekiri Progressive Club has thrown their weight behind the threat by the Niger Delta governors to pull out of the Federal Governmentâ€™s amnesty arrangement saying that â€œwe support, unequivocally, the position taken by our governors on all the issues contained in their communiqueâ€.
In a statement by the groupâ€™s Chairman, Professor Gabriel Yomere said that if Nigeria is to be truly a federation, it must jettison the present political arrangement.
Yomere noted that the proposed Petroleum Act 2009 is a ploy to dispossess, impoverish and do grave injustice to the people of Niger Delta, adding that these acts of condescension and deceit must stop.
The group which also kicked against the movement of the University of Petroleum Technology for whichÂ it blamed the minister of petroleum resources Dr Rilwan Lukman for breaking the law with reckless abandon.
The recent changes at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was also condemned by the group, a development it says is Dr Lukmanâ€™s agenda to northernize the Nigerian oil industry.
It also noted that more than equitable number of the appointee to positions of authority and influence in the corporation are from the north
The group however warned that Lukmanâ€™s current haughtiness and reckless statements have potentials for heightening tensions in the country.
Part of the statement reads â€œWe note that this bill, whilst pretending to abrogate all other existing legislation which have been described by other organizations, including the Technical Committee on the Niger Delta, as part of the pantheon of unjust laws in this countr, ahs in fact put in place their most despicable provisions and in some cases strengthened them.
â€œWe state emphatically that land on which oil and other such materials are found belong to the people who have inhabited them before Nigeria as a nation was created and cannot by any stretch of imagination belong to any amorphous Federal Government.
â€œIf the truth must be told the Nigerian State has exhibited a continuing predisposition to dispossess impoverish and do grave injustice to the people of Niger Delta.
â€œRight now we have two choices either we move for true federalism with its fiscal component together at the Federal, state and local government levels or wait for this country to be pushed in to the abyss of a failed stateâ€.
The group however advised President Musa Yar Adua not to allow the opportunity provided by the amnesty initiative to slip by as sections that had attempted to break away for fear of losing control over their God given resources.