A Federal Government delegate to the National Conference, His Royal Highness Asara A. Asara, has revealed that late President Umaru Yar’Adua had granted amnesty to the Niger Delta militants because Nigeria was broke.
Asara, the paramount ruler of Akipelai community in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, said the gesture of the late president was not altruistic, but to douse the tension in the region, in order to allow unfettered lifting of crude oil.
Speaking in an interview with newsmen in Abuja, Asara said the National Conference failed by not setting a percentage increase on the derivation principle to the oil producing states.
He also criticised some northerners calling for amnesty for members of the Boko Haram sect, saying the Niger Delta militants were making genuine agitation, because their land and environment were being destroyed with impunity.
He said: “When late President Yar’Adua came and there was no money to spend, all sources of government and institutions were weakened and crumbling, he took the palliative of amnesty to douse the tension, in order to be able to extract oil. That is all.
“It was not through patriotic instinct that my people have a problem; let me solve the problem. No, if anybody tells you that it was wrong. It was because Nigeria was broke and there was no money to spend again and government is being grounded.