Leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF) Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari has said that the statement by Alhaji Usman Bugaje that the oil in the Niger Delta belongs to the north, is a prelude to genocide, which he alleged that the north is planing against the people of Nigeria.
Asari, who addressing the press in Abuja yesterday, in reaction to Bugaje also said called on security operatives to invite Bugaje to explains his statement, which according to him, is inciting, stressing that Bugaje’s statement should be taken serious as he(Bugaje) is speaking for the north.
“The intension and implication of Bugaje statement is that the north is planing genocide against our people, the same way they’re sponsoring boko haram. That is the import of what Bugaje has said, people might not see it, and they will say Asari is an alarmist.
“He spoke the mind of the north. They are deceiving and inciting their people against our people. What Bugaje did was to incite this people, but we are ready for them. So he can go on inciting his people, we are ready for everything they are planing for.
“What Bugaje said started when Ken Saro Wiwa started the Ogoni struggle, and Bala Mohammed came out and said that the oil segmented from the north to the south, as if the world is horizontal. They are telling us their willing for crisis because they are hand in glove in this struggle to subjugate and steal what did not belong to them.
“The Nigeria security agents should look at what Bugaje said , and call him to explain because his statement is a prelude to genocide against our people and Nigerian state should not joke with it because Bugaje is not an ordinary person. People should not play with his statement. The weight of what Bugaje said will re-vibrate years to come.” Asari said.
It will be recalled that Bugaje, one of the speakers at the Northern Leaders Conference in Kano, said that crude oil domiciled majorly in the Niger Delta region, belongs to the north.
According to Bugaje, a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) it is wrong for any state to claim that it is oil producing because 72% of the total land mass in the country belonged to the North and that by the United Nation’s law; it is only the North that actually has the right to claim ownership in Nigeria.
In his presentation, Bugaje insisted that “there are no oil producing states. The only oil producing state is the Nigerian state itself. Whatever mileage you get in the sea, according to the United Nations Law of the sea, is a measure of the land mass that you have; that is what gives you the mileage into the sea.
“The land mass of this country, that gives that long 200 nautical miles or more into the ocean, is because of that 72% of the land mass of this country, which is the North. The investment came from the Nigerian state and the territory belongs to the Nigerian state. What they claim is the off shore oil is actually the oil of the North. We should stop using these terms that have no sense at all. There are no oil producing states.” Bugaje said.
Asari who described the statement as inciting added: “I have known Usman Bugaje for 25 years since I became a Muslim on 17th October, 1988. Usman Bugaje is a pharmacist, and holds a PhD in Arabic and Islamic studies. He was national president of Muslim students society of Nigeria. He was a member of the House of Representatives. He was also a governorship candidate of the defunct Action Congress (AC).
Now the question are asking is: when we say that people like Bugaje speaks for the north, some persons will tell us no, he is speaking for himself. Bugaje was addressing a northern assembly, made up of the whole northern leadership, elite, academia, business class and political elite, and before this gathering Bugaje made such provocative and inciting comment that oil in the Niger Delta belongs to the north, and his people clapped for him.
“But when we react, somebody will tell us that Usman Bugaje is speaking for himself and not the north. In all the positions Bugaje has held, he represented his people views, aspirations and demand.
“The statement from Usman Bugaje is a serious one, and we shall treat it on it seriousness because we know that they have an evil agenda against our people. We have very small countries in West Africa that is not even as big as Rivers State alone, and their distance to the Coast, do they not have nautical miles to the sea? How far and deep is the discovery of oil. I am an Ijaw man, I travel by boat from my village to São Tomé, Equatorial Guinea and to Gabon and to other African countries, so I know the terrain very well. Usman Bugaje may be, has never stepped his foot into any ocean, may be the highest he has seen is the Bar Beach in Lagos.
“He said the oil in Niger Delta belongs to them, what an insult. First, the only reason why Nigeria was amalgamated in 1914 was because the north was poor and could not stand on its own and needed the resources of the south to survive. Lord Luggard was very clear when he was writing to his home office in London, given them reason for the need to amalgamate the north and south of Nigeria. There was no time the north has had money to sponsor even themselves, talkless of sponsoring other people.
“Let me say here that Nigeria as a country didn’t invest a dime in oil exploration in the Niger Delta, but this is the lie they keep telling people. Go and check, Shell and oil companies spent all the money exploring and getting oil in the Niger Delta. In fact, northern leaders and their southern collaborators who were appointed into ministries took bribe from foreign multinational companies that came to explore oil in the Niger Delta, these companies paid through their nose. And that was one of the reasons that occasioned the Kaduna Nzeogwu coup, when the northern political elite and their southern collaborators collected ten per cent.
“I am calling on the Igbo people, the Niger Delta people, the Middle Belt, we must rise up to put a wall of defence and prepare ourselves for whatever they are planing, what they are planing will not be different from what boko haram is doing. The killings in Benue, Jos is part of their plan, this we must understand.”