Leader, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Chief Edwin Clark, yesterday took a swipe at former president Olusegun Obasanjo over his comment that the oil found in the Niger Delta region does not belong to the people of the region.
Clark, a former federal information commissioner, described Obasanjo’s outburst as unstatesmanly and accused him of being inconsistent on the resource control debate.
He stated this in an open letter he addressed to Obasanjo, titled: “My Disappointment Over Your Unprovoked Outburst Against the People of the Niger Delta Region,” said the former president did not make a similar outburst when the government and people of Zamfara State presented the gold mined in the state to President Muhammadu Buhari as their property.
Clark said Obasanjo made the statement at a summit organised by a group, Global Peace Foundation, on December 13, 2021.
The elder statesman, who is also chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT), Ijaw National Congress (INC), added that he was shocked at Obasanjo’s comment because the former president who he met shortly before he made the statement, didn’t hint at any form of distraught or anger with the Niger Delta Region.
“Like I stated, in the course of our conversations, Your Excellency did not mention to me any grievances you have against the Niger Delta region. So, it was a rude shock to me watching videos, both on conventional media and social media, where Your Excellency, displayed what I will like to describe as unstatesmanly attitude on your outburst, hitting the table with your hands, that the oil found in the Niger Delta region does not belong to the people of the Niger Delta.
“With all due respect, Your Excellency, your outburst towards your fellow participants in a summit, to which everyone present was invited, is to say the least, disappointing, when you displayed a hate attitude against the people of the oil producing states in Nigeria. You openly interjected both Engr. Woduand Mr. O’Mac Emakpore, each time they tried to speak.”
He added, “Please be informed, Your Excellency, that henceforth, together with other groups with whom we are working, the Afenifere of South West, the Middle Belt Forum and the Ohaneze of the South East, we will take critical look at any hypocritical dialogue you want to invite us to, or co-chaired by you, until our rights under the Constitution are recognised and respected.
“This inconsistency is what many other elder statesmen like myself are unable to tolerate. If this country must remain peaceful and united, it must be based on truth, justice, equity, and the same rules for all. As the saying goes, what is good for the goose, is good for the gander,” he added.