By Samuel Oyadongha
The Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, worldwide, Wednesday, described as reckless, provocative and misleading, the claim by former National Secretary of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Alhaji Usman Bugaje, that the country’s oil belongs to the North.
Bugaje, one of the lead speakers at the Northern Leaders’ Conference, had, Tuesday, in Kano, in a live television programme, raised the issue of the ownership of Nigeria’s crude oil domiciled majorly in the Niger Delta region.
The former ACN chieftain said it was wrong for any state to claim that it wass oil producing because 72 per cent of the total land mass of the country belongs to the North and that by the United Nation’s law, it was only the North that actually has the right to claim ownership of the oil.
But the IYC, in a statement by its spokesman, Eric Omare, said that Bugaje’s comment was a deliberate ploy to mislead his northern brothers to prepare the ground to oppose the legitimate demand of the Niger Delta people to control their resources at the forthcoming national conference.
Expressing disappointment over what it described as the misleading statement, Omare said: “Contrary to Bugaje’s assertion, the IYC insists that there is no United Nations Law which states that the maritime boundary of a country is determined by the land mass of the country.
“For the record, there is nowhere in Articles 3, 5, 57 and 76 of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS, where it is stated that the landmass of a coastal state determines its mileage into the sea or its maritime boundary.”