By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Senator Magnus Abe (APC, Rivers South-East) has warned that, given the way Nigeria is advancing, bickering over oil and resource control will end up splitting the country into different parts.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja, the APC senator said, from events of the recent times, it has become clear that Nigerians do not want to live together any longer, especially given the speed at which the standard of living among Nigerian deteriorate daily.
Against the backdrop of challenges facing the Nigerian nation, coupled with the over-reliance on oil as the only means of survival with attendant unhealthy rivalries among component states with regards to the sharing formula of proceeds, Nigeria may be balkanized if the trends are not checked, said Senator Magnus Abe.
“While we worry on who takes what percentage of oil and who does not take what percentage of oil, before, I used to be convinced that Nigerians have made up their minds to be together; I don’t have that conviction anymore.
“If we are not careful, this country can blow up and split into different parts; all over the issue of oil and at the end of the day, even those who think they will gain from that will lose”, he said.
Speaking further, Magnus Abe, who heads the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Down Stream), expressed his conviction that if the country’s political elites can jettison their focus on oil and resource control, Nigeria will do better as a united, progressive, democratic country.
He regretted that over-dependence and emphasis on oil has imposed the culture of a shared economy on Nigerians, as against resource generation through effective human resource management.
While explaining that the issues challenging Nigeria goes beyond the issue of resource control or resource generation, he said there are countries in this world which do not produce anything, yet they are still making money, by managing the quality of human beings in their countries.
He also lamented that the influence of oil has deteriorated the quality of our human beings and living in the country, saying “The quality of education is falling; the standard of living is falling and the quality of life and quality of thought of the citizens are falling”.
“If you sit with people who think and analyse what we are doing in this country, we are wasting in this country; we can convert what we are not touching in this country into what we can get our human begins to do; you will be amazed on how far we are sliding”, he said.