The Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, has convoked an emergency “general assembly” for Monday over a bill in the House of Representatives seeking to amend the Constitution to remove the 13 per cent oil derivation formula being enjoyed by oil-producing states, especially in the South-South geopolitical zone.
The bill has generated protests especially from the Niger Delta.
Our correspondent observed that the bill currently awaiting second reading was sponsored by 59 members of the House from across the states in the North, including the leader of the Northern Caucus, Musa Sarkin-Adar.
The proposal seeks to delete Section 162(2) of the 1999 Constitution, which has to do with the management of the Federation Account.
PANDEF, in an open invitation issued on Friday by its National Chairman and former Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Emmanuel Essien, invited governors of states in the Niger Delta and members of the National Assembly from the oil-rich Niger Delta region to the virtual meeting.
The invitation is titled, ‘Agenda: The Bill to Delete Subsection 2, Section 162 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) sponsored by 59 Northern Members of the House of Representatives .’
It partly read, “The following personalities and groups are also invited to attend: representatives of the South-South governors, speakers of the South-South states, members of the National Assembly from the region – serving and past, former governors and top political office holders, retired top military and security officers from the region.
Other invitees are the Director-General of BRACED Commission, traditional rulers, presidents of ethnic organisations, leadership of oil and gas host communities, leaders of ethnic youth organisations, leaders of relevant CSOs, CBOs, women and youth groups in the region and other strategic stakeholders.”
However, several co-sponsors of the controversial bill could not be reached on Friday night to comment on the idea behind it.
The sponsors include Babangida Ibrahim, Musa Sarkin-Adar, Abdulganiyu Olododo, Mansur Manu Soro, Tijjani Zakariya, Usman Shiddi, Mohd Yakubu, Muhammad Jega, Bello Shinkafi, Aliyu Yako, Bashir Mashema, Abdullahi Halims, Shehu Rijau, Hamisu Ibrahim, Ahmad Bakura, Abdulkarim Usman, RichardGbande and Francis Agbo.