Former vice president of Nigeria and presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress at the 2015 elections, Atiku Abubakar, gave insights of his plans for the oil-rich Niger Delta region if he leads the country one day.
Atiku was speaking at the book launch of "We Are All Biafrans",’ written by Chido Onumah on Tuesday 4 October 2016.
"I think the Niger Delta should be handled with a stick and carrot approach. In 2007, before I ran for president, I met with various stakeholders on the Niger Delta issue and they came up with a policy.
"Part of the recommendations was that the ministry be moved to the Niger Delta and not Abuja. We have had administrations that did not do their homework on the Niger Delta.
"If I had won, I would have sold 10 per cent shares in the NNPC; that will give me 20 billion dollars which would build infrastructure for the Niger delta but we will always end up with accidental leadership.
"Bring peace and development to the Niger Delta then they will stop blowing up pipelines. Then, we will get gas and then power can be stable but until then, we will not get it.’’
"A smaller, leaner Federal Government with reduced responsibilities. This means devolution of powers and resources to states and local governments.
"State and local governments should control education, health, agriculture, roads and other infrastructure.
"A true federal system will allow the
federating states to keep their resources while the Federal Government retains the power of taxation and regulatory authority over standards.
"The result will be a political and governmental system that empowers local authorities and gives them greater autonomy to address peculiar local issues, while enhancing accountability and contributing to the general good of the country.
"Such a robust federal system will reduce the tensions that are built into our current over-centralized system."