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Drama As Lamido Gives S’South Condition For Resource Control

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Lamido of Adamawa, Lamido Mustapha

Lamido of Adamawa, Lamido Mustapha

The Lamido of Adamawa, Dr. Muhammadu Barkindo Mustapha, again on Tuesday stoked a fresh controversy at the ongoing National Conference when he gave a stringent condition for a 100 per cent resource control. He also kicked against autonomy for ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, saying it would give room for many demands. In a tacit reference to the people of the Niger-Delta who have been clamouring for resource control, Mustapha said they should be ready to lose their lands in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The latest controversy is coming barely two weeks after the monarch had told the conference that his kingdom extended to Cameroon and he still had his kith and kins there who would receive him and his people if the North seceded from Nigeria. He said, “Mr. Chairman, I have observed that some people have started jumping the gun by commenting on issues like resource control, resource ownership and many other agitations. In this case, let me also jump the gun to say that states which don’t have oil should allow the states which have oil to take a 100 per cent oil revenue and states which don’t have oil should take land resource. “That means ownership of land should revert to those states and anybody who wants to use the land or the structures in the land must pay rent to those states or the traditional owners of the land, for example, the FCT.” But a Rivers State-delegate and a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Prince Chibudom Nwuche, dismissed the monarch’s comments, saying they were not issues. He said, “Is that really an issue? I feel that is his personal opinion and even if it is 100 per cent, the Federal Government will still impose tax to provide common services. There should be room for government to impose tax to provide common services like foreign affairs, common currency and the Federal Road Safety Commission. You cannot subsume this under 100 per cent. Although it could be a good concept, you must give the Federal Government the right to tax.” Mustapha, who is representing traditional rulers in the confab, also took a swipe at a delegate from the South-West, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, who he accused of “ranting.” He said, “Mr. Chairman, speakers after speakers have said almost everything I intended to say about the President’s inaugural address. Therefore, I will just commend Mr. President for convoking this conference. In his address, he almost exactly laid down our problems and challenges and he went ahead and advised us to be moderate, tolerant, considerate and magnanimous in our discussions.

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“So, fellow delegates, I will like to advise us to take a cue from Mr. President and not the so-called civilised people of the South-West who always tell us that they have no permanent friends but permanent interests and who advocate same sex marriages and people like Chief Ayo Adebanjo, who even in his prime age of 86 is still ranting.” Thereafter, there were shouts of “point of order” raised by some delegates. But the unperturbed monarch retorted and said, “Why didn’t you call for the point of order when he was castigating me on Monday, last week?” But Adebanjo kept quiet. The Lamido also kicked against giving traditional rulers any role in the constitution. He said, “Mr. Chairman, but for traditional rulers, I don’t support the idea or the opinion to give us any role in the constitution. Our rules are conventions like the British Constitution and we have been performing them for hundreds of years and in some places, for over 1,000 years. “What traditional rulers in Nigeria want is recognition. So, I am pleading with this conference to please include in the next constitution, a provision which will provide for the National Traditional Rulers Council of Nigeria, whose leadership will be three traditional rulers from each state, including the president of the traditional rulers council of that state. “Yesterday (Monday), I heard the ethnic nationality delegate saying that his people are marginalised because a district head was appointed in their area which they didn’t support. Mr Chairman, we shouldn’t listen to these ethnic chauvinists, because if we agree with their arguments, we will end up in a situation in Nigeria where every ethnic group will demand for the next President, governors, office, areas, emirs, obas, minister, chairmen of local government and many others. “So, Mr. President, we better thank God that the major tribes in Nigeria are tolerant, considerate and magnanimous; otherwise, we would have found ourselves in a different situation in Nigeria today.”

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