Masari blasts Niger Delta leaders, says they used oil money as ‘pocket money’

Gov. Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State

Gov. Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State

Oscarline Onwuemenyi
30 August 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Katsina State Governor Aminu Bello Masari has berated Niger Delta leaders, saying they must come clean on how they have spent oil money allocated to the region over the years.

In an interview published in the current edition of The Interview, Mr. Masari called out Niger Delta leaders, challenging them to “come clean” on how they managed the region’s resources.

Masari said, “For six years, we had a Niger Delta president. Let us see what difference he made in six years when he was president. When the excess crude account became pocket money, how much of the money went to the Niger Delta?”

According to a statement by the Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of the magazine, Azu Ishiekwene, “the interview features Masari firing on all cylinders. He took on Senate President Saraki, explained why Obasanjo’s third term bid failed, and spoke, at length for the first time, on ‘budget padding.’ And then, he removed his gloves on his predecessor, Ibrahim Shema, and the Niger Delta.”

Although Mr. Masari did not name names, the reference to a Niger Delta president was apparently pointing to Goodluck Jonathan, the immediate past president, under whose presidency oil price averaged $100 per barrel.

Asked what he did to ensure accountability of oil money when he was Speaker of the House of Representatives and also a ranking member of the Peoples Democratic Party at the time, Mr. Masari said, “The House of Representatives has been friendly to the people of the Niger Delta than any other institution in the country.”

He asked the Federal government to publish how much the region has received since the 13 percent derivation started.

The resurgence of violence in the Niger Delta by the Avengers since last year has led to massive losses in the country’s oil revenue and peace efforts have stalled.

On Saturday, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, said the Federal Government had spent over $40billion in the Niger Delta in the past 12 years.

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