Nigeria’s Oil Should Belong to the North by UN Law: Bugaje

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SWITZERLAND, JULY 11 – One of the speakers at the recently held Northern Leaders Conference, Dr Usman Bugaje has argued that Nigeria’s oil should naturally belong to the North.

“What they claim is the offshore oil is the oil of the north,” Bugaje declared at the conference.

According to Bugaje, it is wrong for any segment of the country to claim the oil which is largely domiciled on Niger Delta soil. He argued that the oil belongs to the Nigerian state and that if any section of the country wants to claim the oil, it should be the North according to the United Nation’s law, because the region has 72 per cent of the total land area of Nigeria. He belies it is wrong for any region of the country to call itself ‘oil producing’.

“There is no oil producing state. The only oil producing state is the Nigerian state itself, because the oil investment comes from the Nigerian state, the territory belongs to the Nigerian state, and whatever mileage you get in the sea, according to the UN law, is a measure of the land mass that you have. If you have a small land mass you get a small part of the sea, ” he said.

Bugaje’s statements are very controversial and are likely to be met with intense criticisms from people in the South-South, who have advocated for more control over the crude oil in their lands.

Dr Usman Bugaje is a typical norther elite. He graduated in Pharmacy from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria in 1975 and later did an MA in African Studies and a PhD in Intellectual History, both at the Institute of African and Asian Studies, University of Khartoum, Sudan.

Dr Bugaje also worked with Islam in Africa Organisation (IAO) and taught at the Ahamdu Bello University, Zaria, and University of Maiduguri, Nigeria. He is a prolific writer on national and international issues, and has published in both academic and non-academic journals and other media. He was for four years the Political Adviser to the Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

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