Says outcome will overwhelm Nigeria’s economy
Urges Southern legislators to counter move
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
A Civil Society Organisation, CSO, Friday, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, CDNDC, expressed worry over moves in a bill allegedly sponsored by 59 lawmakers from the North to remove 13 per cent Derivation Fund from Constitution.
This was contained in a statement signed by Convener of CDNDC, Atoye-Dare Ariyo, while pointing out grave consequences the move might cause the Nigerian economy.
According to the statement, the Bill was introduced on the floor of the House of Representatives to alter 162 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The statement reads in part, “The Bill introduced in the House of Representatives to alter 162 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended ) by deleting the proviso under the existing subsection 2, is an invitation to anarchy, chaos and instability.
“The bill, sponsored by 59 lawmakers from North of Nigeria is a ploy to remove the 13% Derivation Fund from the Constitution as contained in subsection 2 of 162.
“We fear the furore that this brazen act legislative insensitivity will generate will totally undermine and overwhelm the country.”
The statement also added, “That these lawmakers even contemplated this egregious act is in itself an affront, and it shall be resisted by everything necessary.
“This could well be the beginning of the end of a geographical entity suffering from intense manipulation and insincerity.”
However, the statement called on legislators from the South, particularly from the Niger Delta region to counter the alleged move.
“Lawmakers from the South, especially from the Niger Delta, will do well to immediately sponsor a bill that will increase derivation to 50 per cent as a logical counter to this unconscionable and immoral legislative act”, it added.
Earlier, the National President, Ijaw National Congress, INC, Prof Benjamin Okaba, has said the proposed Bill to delete Section 162, sub section 2 of the 1999 Constitution, which deals with derivation principle by 59 northern Members of House of Representatives, was an invitation to chaos.
The Ijaw leader in a statement, urging the sponsors “to allow the sleeping dog lie”, which he said: “The leadership of the pan-Ijaw group, the Ijaw National Congress (worldwide) has received with utter consternation and disbelief a story circulating in the social media, of a purported bill sponsored by 59 members of the House of Representatives, who are of northern extraction with an intent to delete section 162 sub section 2 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).”