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Published On: Wed, May 7th, 2014

Derivation: Onuesoke Slams Junaid Mohammed, Says He is Afraid of True Federalism

Chief Sunny Onuesoke

LAGOS MAY 7TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Country Director of Network for Good Governance (N4GG), Chief Sunny Onuesoke has accused Second Republic lawmaker and a delegate at the National Conference, Dr Junaid Mohammed of being afraid of the practice of true federalism in Nigeria hence his agitation against it promulgation.
Onuesoke, Delta State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in 2007 election in reaction to Junaid Mohammed comment on the media saying Niger Delta will not last for twenty four hours as a country because they have nothing in common aside the agitation for resource control, accused Junaid of pursuing shadows instead of the substance on the interview in he granted to the press.

Onuesoke who claimed Junaid is afraid that if Nigeria practice true federalism the North would be worst of it, explained that agitation by the south for derivation is simply because of the gross distortion of the ecosystem in their domain and the only way to create solace for them is through derivation.
He pointed out that if truly Junaid postulated that derivation was unacceptable, Northern leaders who muted the idea of derivation in the first place would not have done this nor agreed to it at that time.
‘Of all the regimes under Northern leadership, it is on record that the Northern region of the country has had more than its fair share of the oil revenue. Apart from the development of the FCT, it is unclear to what use they have utilised their share of the revenue,” Onuesoke argued, adding that derivation for Niger Delta region should be increased from 13% to 85%.
Debunking Junaid claim that Niger Delta region should only be entitled to fraction of the oil proceeds limited to onshore production and that off shore production is for the whole country, Onuesoke argued that the people of the Niger Delta are entitled to even more compensated on off shore oil production hence the effect off shore oil production on the environment is even more devastating than that of onshore oil production, noting that main occupation of majority of the indigenes of Niger Delta is on the waterways.
According to him, “The main occupation of the people of Niger Delta region residing in the riverine area is fishing. The water is also use for other domestic and cultural purposes. But with oil exploration, the waterways have been contaminated by oil pollution and as such they could not make use of the waterways in earning their livelihood which is fishing, no water for domestic use or cultural activities. The Niger Delta man who is a supplier of fishes to the nation now depends on imported frozen fishes, lack water for domestic use and prevented from practicing his cultural activities. Their case could be compared to that of Fulani nomadic who lost their animals to environmental pollution. In that case they would have deprived them of their means of livelihood.”
Contrary to Junaid’s insinuation about the territory of Niger Delta as a country, Onuesoke argued the people of Niger Delta Region would live better as an entity, adding despite difference in languages, they have one historical background, religious affiliation and socio-economical foundation.

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