A university don, Prof Benjamin Okaba yesterday described the 1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria as satanic document which must be set aside for the country to move forward.
Okaba who is contesting for the President of Ijaw National Congress (INC) said this while speaking with newsmen in Akure.
He however noted that the “National Assembly cannot be used for constitutional review because its composition it is skewed in favour of the North which is not disposed to the agitation of the Southern people.
The aspirant who was in the state to meet with the ljaws in the state said that the “Nigeria must go back to the 1963 constitution in order to address the cry of marginalization by every segment of the country.
Okaba who also met with an ljaw leader who is the state Commissioner for Lands and Housing in Ondo State, Donald Ojogo said the Niger Delta part of the country is marginalized in the scheme of things.
The lecturer at Federal University of Otuoke in Bayelsa State said “Resource control remains the minimum condition for peace and unity of this country.”
“Resource control remains the minimum prerequisite for equity and justice. I belief if this country wants to know peace, we must go back to our 1963 constitutional framework which is restructuring.”
“In doing do, we allow each region to annex its resources and pay tax to the federal government. We need devolution of power so that each region grows at its own pace with little or no support from Federal Government. It will enable some competition from the federating units.”
Okaba lamented marginalization of the Niger Delta people.
According to him “The Niger Delta is marginalized by the Federal Government. Inasmuch as the political architecture remains like this, we are already marginalized.
“How many Local Governments do we have in the South South? Look at the National Assembly, how many representatives do we have compared to others? It is skewed in favour of the North.”
“Until 1999 constitution which I call satanic document is set aside and we have federal constitution where the ideas of all the good people are considered and we recognize our strength, our weaknesses and come together and develop at our own pace, annex our resources and stop depending on oil which is vanishing. We will always have crisis”
Okaba said he would make INC a grassroots platform to fight for the emancipation of Ijaw nation and ensure resource control if elected.
According to him ” we planned to make INC people’s driven organization, forge unity among the people and build a credible think-tank that would ensure that there is greater prosperity.