Against the backdrop of challenges facing the Nigeria nation coupled with the over reliance on oil as the only means of survival with attendant unhealthy rivalries among component states with regards to the sharing formular of proceeds, Nigeria may be balkanized if the trends are not checked, Senator Magnus Abe has said.
Abe who chairs the Senate Committee on Petroleum, Downstream, made the assertion in Abuja while commenting on burning issues in the polity, in particular control of oil resource which according to him, has imposed the culture of shared economy on Nigerians as against resource generation by the various co- ordinating units of the federation.
He declared that the myriad of problems presently facing the country and the self-centered approach(es) being used by Nigerians to confront them, have eroded his conviction that Nigerian has come to stay as a united country.
He said: “My position on resource control is very straight forward. I think the issue challenging this country is beyond the issue of resource control or rather issue of resource generation to run this country. What we are currently having in Nigeria is sharing economy where everybody depends on whatever comes from oil.
“There are countries in this world that produce absolute nothing and they are still making money by managing the quality of human beings in their countries but in this country the quality of our human beings begin to deteriorate everyday. The quality of education is falling, the standard of living is falling and the quality of lives of citizens are falling.
“The most important thing for us to concentrate attention on is getting the least attention in this country, what is getting the most attention is oil. If you seat with people who think and analyse what we are doing in this country, what we are wasting in this country, what we can convert, what we are not touching in this country, what we can get our human begins to do, you will be amazed on how far we are sliding.
“Why worry too much on who takes what percentage of oil and who does not take what percentage of oil? Before, I used to be convinced that Nigeria have made up their minds to be together, I don’t have that conviction anymore. If we are not careful, this country can blow up and split into different parts, all over the issue of oil and at the end of the day even those who think they will gain from that will lose”.
He however said Nigeria will do better as a united, progressive and democratic country built on reward for contribution.
His words: “I believe Nigeria will do better as united, progressive, democratic country where everybody’s right is respected, where people are treated fairly and justly, where if you contribute something you will be rewarded for your contribution and others are encouraged to contribute than bicker and fight and end up destroying ourselves.
“Honestly speaking, if you have been with me two months ago, I use to tell people that I still believe that Nigerians want to live together but as I am sitting down now, I cannot say that with same conviction any longer”.
It would be recalled the the National Conference recently ended its sessions abruptly over heated debate among delegates across regional lines on new percentages of oil proceeds to be giving to the oil producing states as derivation privileges and the percentage to allocate to some northern states ravaged by Boko Haram insurgency as development intervention funds.