Allowing Zamfara manage gold while FG controls Niger Delta oil no longer acceptable: South-South govs


State governors from the South-South geo-political zone have kicked against the decision of the federal government to allow Zamfara State manage its solid mineral, gold.

The governors made this known through its chairman and governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, The Southern Examiner reports, saying the issue will be at the forefront when leaders of the zone meet with presidential delegation tomorrow.

Mr Okowa who spoke yesterday in Asaba while addressing journalists, said the decision of the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari to allow the North-West state control its resources is discriminatory and should not be allowed.

The governor who described the move as divisive politics also warned that it could lead to the country becoming a banana republic, adding that he and his counterparts in the region are in full support of resource control and restructuring of the nation.

“The South-South Governors have been in the forefront for the devolution of power to states and local governments,” he said.

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“Restructuring, resource control and security of the country, especially in the Niger Delta will be a major topic of discussion at the Presidential parley coming up in Port Harcourt.

“We cannot apply laws in such a manner that it becomes discriminatory because you cannot mine solid minerals somewhere in Zamfara and you can’t allow Niger Delta to manage their oil,” Okowa added.

Zamfara authorities appeared to have devised modalities for extraction of the state’s gold deposits following the establishment of a gold reserve last month.

Governor Bello Matawalle told journalists at the flag-off of the project that the novel gold reserve, which commenced operation with 31 kilogrammes of processed gold, was part of his administration’s efforts to diversify the state’s economy.