Akwa Ibom Youths under the auspices of Young Democratic Movement (YDM), and South South Youth Assembly have given the Federal Government seven days ultimatum to take over the gold in Zamfara state currently controlled by the state government.
The youths said at a press conference in Uyo on Tuesday said that the gold in Zamfara belonged to the Federal Government and Governor Bello Matawalle had no right to sell the gold bar to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Leader of Young Democratic Movement, Kuseme Idiong and Speaker, South South Youth Assembly, Comrade Victor Thompson stated that proceeds from the sale of Zamfara gold should be shared among all the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as is done with the oil proceeds from the Niger Delta.
They noted that the Constitution of Nigeria stipulates that mines and minerals including oil fields, oil mining, geological surveys and natural gas in states are exclusively under the control of the Federal Government, and wondered why the FG has not taken over the gold in Zamfara.
They described the action of Zamfara state governor as an act of lawlessness and impunity, and called on the Executive and Legislative arm of government to rise up against it.
They stated that failure of the FG to take over the mineral resources found in Zamfara state would force them to embark on a nationwide protest and call out youths in the country to join.
The groups further demanded an upward review of the derivation funds paid to Niger Delta states saying oil-producing states were not actually paid the 13 percent.
“That both the Executive and the Legislative arm of the Federal Government should rise against this act of lawlessness and impunity from the perpetrators of the sale of Zamfara Gold.
“Details of both past and present gold or other mineral sales should be made public and proceeds should be shared among all the states as in the case of Oil derivatives from the Niger Delta region.
“The Federal Executive Council and the National Assembly should revisit the derivative funds formula for oil-rich Niger Delta states as oil-producing states are fed below the 13% derivation.
“Failure to upwardly review the derivative funds formula for oil-rich Niger Delta states, the Federal Government must allow Niger Delta to directly sell her oil just as the recent case of Zamfara gold bar.
“We give the Federal Government up till Saturday, October 24, 2020 to give a robust and satisfactory response to our demands else the Youths of Niger Delta shall on Tuesday, October 26, 2020 embark on a Nationwide protest drawing the attention of the international community to this terrible situation.
We must warn that we will not leave the streets until our demands are met,” the group stated.