NIGER DELTA CONGRESS STATEMENT ON THE ONGOING PUBLIC HEARING BY THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON THE REVIEW OF THE 1999 CONSTITUTION
On Thursday 27th May 2021, the Niger Delta Congress presented its position and recommendations to the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution in Port Harcourt, chaired by Senator Betty Apiafi.
In our presentation, the NDC stated our clear position on the restructuring of this country to pave way for economic and political autonomy for the Niger Delta peoples. The NDC amongst other recommendations, removed 45 items from the Exclusive Legislative list, including the Police, arms and ammunitions, mines and minerals, and ports.
The NDC also proposed a return to the derivation formula as proposed by the Hicks-Phillipson which states that 50% should be for the production area, 35% to the state, and 15% to the Federal Government. This derivation formula is what was in place as at 1st October 1963.
The NDC nonetheless noticed the glaring unseriousness of the committee from its processes and the conduct of the committee members.
The NDC would like to state that its appearance at the public hearing was to fulfil all righteousness, and to put on record the stance of the Niger Delta regarding the 1999 Constitution.
We would like to categorically state that the NDC is against the 1999 Nigerian constitution as amended and calls for a brand new constitution.
We would also like to state that the fate of the Niger Delta peoples which the NDC represents is not dependent on the actions or inaction of the committee, but is in our hands as a people.
Consequently the Niger Delta peoples do not plan on waiting on the committee to address the existential issues affecting the people and region. The Niger Delta peoples through the Niger Delta Congress has taken its future in its own hands.
We call on all Niger Deltans to keep hope alive and anticipate the Niger Delta Peoples Conference to be held in October 2021 where our people will take far-reaching decisions on our collective future as a people.God bless the Niger Delta. God bless the Niger Delta Congress.
STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE NDC: Barr. Ovunda C. Eni
Spokesperson, Rivers State