Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has described the 13 per cent derivation principle as a mockery of the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the Niger Delta.
He said that it is not enough to develop the oil-rich region.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr. Francis Ottah Agbo, said that the governor made the assertion on Tuesday during a live media chat in Ijaw language in Government House, Yenagoa.
Governor Dickson insisted that only restructuring would guarantee sustainable peace, stability and development in the Niger Delta and other parts of the country.
He lamented that the people of the region particularly the Ijaws were being treated as second class citizens in the country, as their God-given resources are expropriated by the Federal Government and its agencies.
His words: “I have said it over time that the 13 per cent derivation they are giving to us can never be enough to tackle our development needs at the pace we want. And that, restructuring is the only veritable means to achieving sustainable peace, stability and prosperity not only in our region alone but throughout the country.
“For how long will the Federal Government and indeed all the supporters of this great injustice continue to treat us as slaves? What they call oil blocs are our ancestral lands but we are the people that are excluded from the ownership and use of this our God-given property.
“Take Bayelsa for instance where the Federal Government is doing almost nothing to support our development effort. We are the ones building all our schools, hospitals, roads and bridges to link our communities in this state. Is that fair?
“That is why I expect every right thinking Ijaw or Niger Delta person and true Nigerian to support our clamour for restructuring because that is the right thing to do so that every part of our country will have a sense of belonging,” he said.
On the ongoing state public service reforms, the governor restated the need for Bayelsans to discountenance the propaganda and blackmail orchestrated by detractors, stressing that no genuine worker would be adversely affected.
He said that through continuous verification and other measures, his administration had pruned down the over-bloated wage bill of about N6 billion it inherited at inception of his government to N3.8 billion at the end of last month.