Stakeholders under the aegis of the South-South Study Group (SSSG), have engaged the National Assembly to immediately revert all the provocative provisions in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
The group said that the Niger Delta people were running out of patience with the country over perceived injustice and lack of fairness. This was disclosed by the group in a statement signed by its leader, Otoks Dan-Princewill, who urged persons that love peace and prosperity in the country to prevail on the lawmakers to do the right thing.
The group claimed that a group from the north led and sponsored by a highly-placed monarch engineered the process that led to the passage of the PIB.
Princewill said farmers from Gushua in Bade where the Senate President hails from would not allow anybody to collect the proceeds of their farming and pay them only 3%.
The group said: “In real life, Bade farmers, including farmers from Gashua, have never had to worry about the Federal Government collecting any rent from their resources.
“But the Senator, who presides over what the Niger Delta people will get from Petroleum rent, has never had to preside over Federal rent in Bade. Yet the Niger Delta people have had to worry about suppression and deprivation from time immemorial, during and including the period under white rule in the colonial era.
“Worse still, they continue to endure the same misery, suppression, and deprivation regarding an entitlement to the share of their own natural resources under fellow Nigerian leaders.
“The misery grows worse as each subsequent leadership gets greedier and greedier thus, raising the question: what will it take the Niger Delta people to get justice?”
Princewill said it was aberration for lawmakers, who lacked understanding of the plight of the region, to confiscate the natural resources of the people and determine the meagre ratio to give them from profits made from such resources.
“The members of the northern caucus, behaving worse than British colonialists, apportioned 30% of the profits from petroleum rents from the PIB to frontier basins while at the same time slashing the 10% sought by the owners of the oil-bearing communities from 5% they had previously offered to 3%. What will it take for the Niger-Delta people to get justice?
“Nigerian despots have always tried to deprive the Niger-Delta people of their dues regarding petroleum rents. Between 1971 and 1992, elements in the Nigerian military introduced the dichotomy between onshore and offshore oil in order to deprive the Niger-Delta of the larger chunk of profits from petroleum rents.
“In 2021, they are back to the same old oppressive game and have slashed what should be due to the owners of the oil, the oil-bearing communities to 3% while offering 30% to a fruitless search for oil in their frontier basins that has been wastefully going on for over thirty years.
“Again the South-South Study group must ask, what will it take to get justice for the Niger Delta people? What happened to the oil-bearing communities emanating from the conspiracy of the Northern lobby group hosted at Zuma Rock in Abuja?
“The northern lobby group asked for support for frontier oil exploration in the northern basins and troughs and within 24 hours they got 30% of the oil-rent profits allocated to them, whereas the owners of the oil, the oil-bearing communities sought 20% for about 24 years were offered 5% which was finally slashed to 3%.
“Where is the justice for the Niger Delta people? What must the Niger Delta people do to get men and women to reason beyond their greed?
“The ambit of tolerance and reason is running out in the Niger-Delta. The South-South Study group urges all men and women who love peace and prosperity to reverse the PIB provocation.”