By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Akwa Ibom leaders have threatened legal action against the federal government for its refusal to pay to the state its 13% oil derivation fund for four months.
The leaders expressed worry that the non-payment of the 13% has stalled major developmental projects of the state government.
The stakeholders under the aegis of Akwa Ibom Leaders Vanguard said the FG’s action was inimical to the interests of the state.
A former National Publicity of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Anietie Okon, who addressed a press conference on Thursday on behalf of the group, insisted the reason given by FG for the withholding the 13% derivation fund was not tenable.
Okon also said they will proceed to court to stop multinational oil companies operating in the Niger Delta from remitting monies to the FG coffers.
The group demanded without delay the release of all arrears of derivation funds accruing to oil producing states including an upward review of the fund to 50%.
“For more than four months, the 13% derivation has been withheld by the Federal Government, the reason for this abnormality is said to be the dwindling economy due to the Corona Virus pandemic
“Akwa Ibom Leaders’ Vanguard views this as a total disregard to the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; a gross insensitivity and disregard for the people of oil producing states of Nigeria. It is regarded as an affront on the good people of the Niger Delta region.
“Akwa Ibom Leaders’ Vanguard ponders on the ease with which the Presidency and the APC-led Federal Government pours scorn on the people of the Niger Delta, the goose that lays the golden eggs for all to eat.
“They are taking the relative peace in the zone maintained by the peace loving elders of the zone for granted and are dancing on the keg of gun powder”, Okon said.
He said the position of the elders was that the country should be restructured as the people of the South-South could no longer shoulder the burden of having its resources drained without commensurate benefits.