CONCERNED NIGER DELTANS IN THE NIGERIAN DIASPORA WRITE TO PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIAN SENATE ON THE MATTER OF REVENUES ACCRUING FROM SO-CALLED "OFFSHORE" OIL RESOURCES IN THE NIGER DELTA
P O Box 699
Round Rock, TX 78680-0699
Friday, September 27, 2002
The Honorable Senate President
Dear Senate President,
We salute your able leadership of the Nigeria Senate and also commend your growing abilities in legislative functions toward a fully democratic Nigeria.
We are aware of the Bill for an Act to abolish the Onshore-Offshore dichotomy in the application of the principle of derivation sent from the Presidency and currently being deliberated upon in the Nigeria Senate. As much as we accept its section that the Onshore-Offshore dichotomy need be abolished and put to permanent rest, we equally register our discontent and absolute disapproval of the substitution of “contiguous zone” for the “continental shelf” and the section that sustains prevailing 13% Derivation principle or any other percentage for that matter.
We wish to draw your attention to the history of Derivation principles in which there have been erratic and disproportionate applications ranging from 100% in 1953, 50% in 1960, 45% in 1970, 20% in 1975, 25% in 1982, 1.55% in 1984, 3% in 1992 and 13.0% in 1999 up to 2002. Not one of these percentages can be scientifically or justifiably determined or validated using known socio-economic indices.
Rather, each has been the result of ill-conceived political manipulations that blatantly deny indigenous groups and States of rights to naturally endowed mineral resources, while also generating serious conflicts. Therefore, it shall be in Nigeria’s best interest to explore and adopt another workable template wherein fairness, equity, justice and peace may be guaranteed for all.
As you fully understand, the Federal government has forcibly acquired all rights to mineral resources in Nigeria. The clamor for resource control by indigenes of the Niger Delta region represents a leading precursor to realities of serious unresolved conflicts relating to the forced acquisition of resources and is borne by frustrations at failure to secure equity and lasting resolutions. We believe that unless necessary legislative actions are speedily taken, aversions to governmental authority and violence will escalate and the region may soon become ungovernable.
A recent Supreme Court ruling referred to ancient English laws as a basis for its decision. We also bring to your attention a conveniently forgotten fact. There is not one law in the English law books today that was decreed by Oliver Cromwell who violently overthrew the government of his country. On the contrary, the English made sure that such a situation would never repeat itself. It hasn’t for about a thousand years!
Therefore, it is our humble opinion that this current legislature should repeal and render null and void, all decrees promulgated by Nigeria’s un-elected military governments. You should also lay a foundation for Nigeria’s democracy that will last the next thousand years. The military usurpers behaved as if a sunset was equivalent to the end of days. Our elected officials are expected to be wiser and more forward looking. The sun that sets today will rise again tomorrow.
Consequently, we firmly insist on the following:
We, as concerned citizens adversely affected by a legacy of deprivations and injustice, shall not cower to mediocrity and blatant violations of our fundamental human rights and values, citizenship rights and all articles of the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights. In this light, we respectfully demand that the Senate shall favorably consider our positions enumerated above.
God bless the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
bless the Niger Delta State!!
Phillip Ilenbarenemen – Southern Minority Movement, UK
Tom Mbeke-Ekanem – Ibom Peoples Congress, USA
Edemma Udoh – Niger Delta, UK
Lazarus Tamana – MOSOP, UK
Rev. Edemekong S. Ekong - President – Mboho Akwa Ibom State, UK and Ireland
Roland Ekperi – Ijaw Peoples Association, UK
Ume Udombang -- Atlanta, GA
Uwem Iyang -- London, England
Dr. Samuel Johnson -- Atlanta, USA
Frank Bassey -- UK
Emelda Utuk – Scotland
Engr. Mfon D. Akpan – Georgetown, Guyana
Rachael Ukott - Nigeria
Leo Daniel, London – England
Isaac Kio – UK
– Odoni Development Association, UK
His Excellency (Chief) O. ObasanjoPresident, Federal Republic of Nigeria
Hon. Ghali Na-AbbaSpeaker, NASS
His Excellency Obong Victor AttahGovernor, Akwa Ibom State
Hon. Sen. Ibrahim MantuDeputy President of the Senate
Hon. Sen. E. I. EssienSenate Deputy Whip
Hon. Sen. Udoma U. UdomaChairman, Appropriation Committee
Hon. Sen. David BrigidiChairman, Petroleum Committee
Hon. Sen. A. M. PeppleChairman, Natural Gas Committee
Hon. Sen. Victor OyofoChairman, Niger Delta Committee
Hon. Sen. Jim NwobodoChairman, Internal Affairs Committee
Hon. Sen. Mike AjegboChairman, Judiciary Committee
Hon. Sen. Silas JanfaChairman, Solid Minerals Committee
Hon. Sen. A. D. SodangiChairman, Human Rights Committee
Hon. Sen. J. J. Akpanudo-EdeheChairman, Privatization Committee
Hon. Peter L. Umoh, Speaker, Akwa
Ibom State House of Assembly