*…ADVOCATES STATES POLICE, TRUE FEDERALISM*
Ndifreke P. Akpan (Govt. House)
Champion of resource control in Nigeria and former Governor of Akwa Ibom state Obong Victor Attah has frowned at the APC restructuring report which suggests the re-introduction of the extremely unpleasant onshore /offshore oil dichotomy in the country.
Obong Attah was in a delegation of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority led by the Director of Airworthiness, Engr. Ita Awak, who paid a courtesy call on Governor Udom Emmanuel, shortly after inspecting the facilities at the Akwa Ibom International airport.
He announced his outright rejection of such report whose position may be canvassed on the basis of the 200 metres isobar explaining that there can only be one boundary to a country.
Obong Attah said it would be unfortunate if the APC recommendations for restructuring of the country presented by Governor El Rufai in any way suggested the reintroduction of dichotomy in any form.
According to Obong Attah, “such a boundary is defined by the aggregate of boundaries of the component parts, that is the federating units.”
He emphasized that, “if there is a boundary for Nigeria that is at the economic zone, the boundary of any littoral state must also be that of the country”.
Attah, a delegate to the 2014 constitutional conference advocated for true federalism by lending his support to the clamour for state policing in the country.
He stated unequivocally that without a state police, a federation cannot function effectively.
Obong Attah who initiated the Airport project during his tenure as governor, explained that it was always a thing of concern for him when people said Nigeria needed an MRO but he kept trying to convince them about the quality of the MRO facility in Akwa Ibom State.
“I am very excited and satisfied that finally there is a full recognition of the fact that there is an MRO going up in Akwa Ibom Airport”.
It would be recalled that a section of report of the APC restructuring committee headed by the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El Rufai said ” if this amendment that we are proposing is passed, it means that all minerals including oil and gas that are onshore will be vested in the states of the federation. However, all offshore oil shall remain absolutely vested in the government of the federation.”
Several Akwa Ibom elders including Senator Anietie Okon, Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga, Chief Nduese Essien, have all addressed press conferences to condemn the unpopular recommendation, meant to deprive littoral states of revenue from oil exploration in the sea.