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Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, right, and Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
The Isoko Advancement Network (IAN), a socio-political organisation during her extraordinary meeting expressed disappointment with the leadership of the National Assembly for blowing a muted trumpet over the motion raised on the floor of the Senate by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, regarding the sale of gold worth N5billion by Zamfara State to the Central Bank of Nigeria.
In a statement signed by the Chairman of IAN, Chief Paul Odhomor, the Network noted that the deafening silence of the Senators by deliberately refusing to debate the issue on the floor of the Senate sends dangerous signals to the people of the Niger Delta region that contributes so much to the national GDP.
The IAN is aware that solid mineral is one of the items in the Exclusive Legislative List of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) like oil and gas. It is incredible that the man from Gusau can sell gold directly to the apex bank and an Isoko man from the Niger Delta cannot sell crude oil and gas directly to the NNPC.
The IAN frowns at this negative development and warned that this kind of inequality in the handling of the exploitation of natural resources in Nigeria can trigger youth restiveness in the Delta.
The IAN noted that the youths of the Niger Delta region are already agitated as there was no justification for the criminalization of their activities with oil and gas facilities in the region while their Zamfara counterparts approache the vault of the CBN as off takers of their gold.
The Isoko Advancement Network called on the Federal Government to implement relevant policies towards solid mineral exploration and exploitation with a view to improving the balance sheet of the country.
IAN also used the medium to commend the youths and all those who have shown character and dexterity in the protests for the ban of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The IAN while commending the Nigerian Police Force for heeding to the call by ordinary Nigerians urged the Force to take further steps towards building a strong Police Force through forward looking reforms.
The IAN pointed out that international best practices in policing which supports training and improved conditions of service and community policing should be reinforced.