Punish oil thieves, Northern govs tell FG

suspected oil thieves26 April 2013, Abuja – The governors of the 19 northern states of the federation have expressed regret that President Goodluck Jonathan has not punished those who allegedly stole the nation’s oil money, warning that the situation portends danger for the country.

Chairman, Northern States Governors Forum and Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, made the disclosure when the Ambassador Ibrahim Zakari-led Committee on Reconciliation, Healing and Security set up by the northern governors to find out the causes of insecurity in the region, submitted its final report.

Governor Aliyu also asked the Federal Government to explain what it was doing with the oil subsidy money.

“Where is the subsidy money going into; we have been told that people collected money and go free? Today there is more thievery in the oil sector. If you catch one thief and you do not punish him, others will think that if they do the same thing, they will go scotfree,” he said.

Aliyu further decried the level of insecurity in the North, pointing out that the economy of the area had been crippled following incessant killings and wanton destruction of property in the zone and the problem was increasing because, “we have taken many things for granted.”

Aliyu appealed to members of the Boko Haram sect to take the advantage of the Federal Government’s readiness for dialogue by accepting the peace initiative in the interest of the zone.

The Committee on Reconciliation, Healing and Security, NSCRHS, in its report submitted to the governors, Thursday, identified poverty, economic inequality, narrowing opportunities; illiteracy; ignorance; widespread impunity; injustice; disregard to rule of law; unequal access to political power, among identified groups, as some of the reasons for insecurity in the Northern states.

Other reasons include ownership and access to resources (land and territory), conflicts and unhealthy competition around ethnic and religious identities, among others.

Present at the presentation were governors of Niger, Bauchi,Adamawa, Katsina, Kwara, Kebbi, Kogi, Kaduna, Gombe, Acting Governor of Taraba and Deputy governor of Jigawa, as governors of Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau were absent.

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