Pastor Blessing Adima has called on the federal government to pay reasonable compensation to the Urhobo people because the country survives today on the proceeds of gas and other minerals produce in Urhobo land. This among other issues, as they affect the Urhobo people in particular and Nigeria at large, he spoke about in this exclusive interview with Victor Igherighe.

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The excerpt:

 

 

Pastor Blessing Adima

For the purpose of the press, how do we describe you?

prefer to be addressed as Pastor Blessing Adima despite the fact that I am a politician. I am also a business man and a general contractor. I am into water production. I am the director of O. Kparoke Global Resources. I am also into crops and poultry farming.

As a politician, have you held any political office before? 

No, I have not. But I have floated several political movements particularly in Delta State. For instance, I was the national PRO of the then political movement called Delta Indigene Solidarity for Ibori Continuity between the year 2000 and 2003. I was also founding member of Arise Nigeria, Pro-democracy Group that Canvassed for the re-election of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Have you aspired into any political office before?

Yes, I aspired into the Delta State House of Assembly in 2011 under the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria. But today I am a stalwart of the People’s Democratic Party in Delta State.

What is your take on the recent agitation for restructuring by some group of persons in Nigeria?

First and foremost, I would like to correct an impression. Restructuring is not an agitation but a wise counsel coming from a group of Nigerians to other Nigerians that do not know the problem of Nigeria. As a matter of fact, restructuring means, give to the Urhobo man what is due to him. Give to the Igbo man what is due to him. It is not making the President the lord of the country. For God sake, we are practicing democracy which means the government of the people by the people and for the people. But when a government begins to favour a particular region, then it is no more the government of the people. And when we say the people, we mean whether you are a Muslim, Christian or pagan; whether you are a northerner or southerner or not. Unfortunately, with what is going on in this present administration, we can say that the country is now divided into 97% percent and 5% percent which is not proper. This implies that the present administration has no regard for a particular set of people in the country. This is why appointments into security positions in the country are lopsided. This is why the northerner feels it is an abomination for a southerner to be the governor of Central Bank, to be minister of petroleum because the system was faultily structured. But with restructuring in place, a group of people will not feel they have unlimited power and all the nonsense and marginalization will stop. Another reason why I support the idea of restructuring is that my Urhobo people are being cheated by the federal government. Do know that Nigeria survives on the proceeds of gas and other mineral produce in Urhobo land yet they are not compensated? It is the gas extracted from our Urhobo land that is used to generate power in Nigeria today. Unfortunately, very many of the Urhobo indigenes are not aware of this fact. This same gas is used to generate power in Egbin Power Station in Lagos. In fact, this gas generates a lot of revenue to the federal government today yet the Urhobos are not compensated, they do not benefit from the 13% derivation. But if the country is restructured today, the Urhobo people we then know the resources leaving their land and how much will be accruable to them. This is unlike the present system of government that does not allow the Urhobo people to know how much they contribute to the national budget.

Sir, how is restructuring going to check corruption in Nigeria?

Restructuring can check corruption in Nigeria. With restructuring, unlimited power will not be in the hand of one man. With restructuring, only one man will not control our oil resources rather everybody will be involved in the scheme of things. With restructuring we can hold our representatives accountable because everybody has a voice and stake in government. With this we have checked corruption.

Sir, do you agree with those who described President Mohammadu Buhari as a corrupt free Nigerian?

I never see President Mohammadu Buhari as a saint or incorruptible man as many Nigerians do. As far as I am concerned President Buhari is corrupt because he is the only man who doubles as President and minister of petroleum. President Buhari is corrupt because his Chief of Staff is the Chairman of NNPC Board. President Buhari corrupt because his government promised 3 million jobs but took 10 million jobs from us. He is corrupt because fertilizer that was sold for N3,500 is now N15,500.He is corrupt because he took over a trillion naira for feeding of school children but did not implement it. He is corrupt because he said his government has technically defeated Boko-Haram whereas there are still killings of innocent Nigerians every day. President Buhari is corrupt because he claimed to have recovered billions of dollars from looters yet he went to borrow.

So far so good, how would you rate the Buhari led administration?

Very, very poor. As we speak today, Nigeria is in terrible economic depression. This is as a result of the dangerous economic policy the Buhari led administration has introduced in the country; economic policy that has crumbled business instead of encouraging both local and foreign investors. Forget the grammar we hear in the media. Personally, I don’t believe the figures reported by the Federal Bureau of Statistics because they are being manipulated, they are not real. How can the federal government claim that the economy is growing whereas Nigerians cannot feel the impact? Is that not a blatant lie? This same administration also claimed it has recovered looted funds to the tune of billions of dollars yet it went to borrow.

Sir, don’t you think the Buhari led administration has done well in fighting corruption?

Never, it is all lies. This administration has claimed to have recovered 90 billion dollars looted fund {i.e about 30 trillion naira} from former minister of petroleum yet it went to borrow 11 trillion naira.The question now is where is so-called 90 billion dollars so recovered. Can you now see that this government is very good at publishing falsehood? As far as I am concerned there are many corrupt elements in this government. If a corrupt man decamps to their party he becomes a saint over night.