1. Our attention is drawn to the Financial Times article published on January 28, 2012and captioned “Sanusi Links Boko Haram To Derivation”. Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), reportedly linked disparity in statutory allocations to states as fundamental reason for on-going terrorist activities and religion motivated uprisings by Boko Haram – a militant jihadist group committed to violently destroying lives and properties of the Nigeria people.
2. We take serious exceptions to Mallam Sanusi’s incendiary remark linking or equating any legitimate Niger Delta cause to terrorist activities by the Boko Haram group. We believe that his attempt to introduce such an absurdity is a deliberate ploy to manipulate the national conversation, serving to divert attention from original motives of the Boko Haram group while sowing seeds of envy among Nigerians.
3. We note that neither the Boko Haram group nor anybody else has ever fronted such a ridiculous rationale for ongoing bombings and killings in Nigeria. One wonders why Mallam Sanusi is cheer-leading for Boko Haram in this way, abusing his national profile as a top ranking government official to deliberately soften public perception about that terrorist group. We wonder why Mallam Sanusi is concocting a new motive for fierce terrorists and religious fanatics wantonly destroying lives and property in Nigeria. Mallam Sanusi should neither excuse nor encourage reprehensible actions of rank terrorists who are sponsored to destabilize Nigeria.
4. We believe that the subtext of Mallam Sanusi’s remark is the public condemnation of the statutory derivation and other revenue accruing to Niger Delta states, which revenue are responsible for disparity in allocations to the various states. Such brazen radicalism callously aims to insult people from the South-South geo-political zone who are deserving beneficiaries of statutory allocations beyond what accrues to other states in the country. It renders as insensitivity to over four decades of subjugation leading to gross neglect, stinging poverty and irreversible ecological devastation in the Niger Delta region.
5. The meager thirteen percent (13%) derivation revenue accruing to some Niger Delta states cannot compensate for irreversible ecological damages done to the area. We wonder whether Mallam Sanusi has ever visited some Niger Delta communities to see levels of blight resulting from gas flaring, crude oil spills and other downsides of crude oil exploration. It is the sad reality that farming economies are dwindling, people are dying as a result of large scale pollution and there is stinging poverty because of years of neglect. Yet, we hardly hear Mallam Sanusi radically advocate for restitution and sustainable solutions.
6. We wish to remind all Nigerians that the statutory thirteen percent (13%) derivation and other accruing revenue to the crude oil producing states remains not only a shortchange, but our compromise temporarily accepted in lieu of true fiscal federalism that brings about resource ownership and management rights. No matter how a rip off agenda is craftily packaged by ethnic or geo-political interest groups to further reduce what accrues to the Niger Delta states, let nobody remain under the illusion that we will always accept or tolerate schemes that rob Peter in order to pay Paul.
7. At this time that Nigeria is experiencing serious national security challenges, it is ludicrous for Mallam Sanusi to sneak in a vexing issue that can be easily interpreted as an ethnically driven agenda item for deep chaos. We believe that the CBN governor is championing a wicked agenda to further fleece the Niger Delta people and states of deserved funds. We are unequivocal in condemning Mallam Sanusi: it is obvious that he is a loose cannon capable of furthering national strife and is taking advantage of turbulent times in the country to instigate confusion and serious threats to our national security.
8. We also wish to inform Mallam Sanusi that current disparities in statutory allocation to states do not stoke religious and political turmoil in Northern Nigeria. While suggesting that Mallam Sanusi goes home to Kano and read currently circulating leaflets that outline reasons for Boko Haram, we believe that most Nigerians want the Niger Delta people to be compensated for decades of injustice and inequities suffered. They also believe that Nigeria needs to establish and fully implement true federalism.
9. We believe that present turmoil has a lot to do with some of our past leaders, who have egregiously mismanaged resources fleeced from the Niger Delta states without improving basic human indexes for Nigerians. Those leaders sowed the wind of poverty and Nigeria is now reaping the whirlwind of anarchy and religious turmoil! Therefore, it is hypocritical and disingenuous for Mallam Sanusi to look for sacrificial scapegoats in the Niger Delta, excusing failures by the northern ruling class while instigating envy and socio-economic warfare against the Niger Delta people.
10. We call on Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to immediately resign his appointment as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, failing which the Presidency and National Assembly should facilitate his removal from office.
11. Akwa Ibom Diaspora Network (AIDN) representing the overwhelming majority of Akwa Ibom people in the Diaspora across many nations in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.
Barr. Uduak Ukpeh, Secretary General
Mr. Clement Ikpatt, President & Ms. Mary Umoh, VP Communications