Oil belongs to Nigeria not Niger Delta, says Obasanjo
By Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta And Alao Abiodun On Dec 29, 2021
By Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta and Alao Abiodun
Ex-President tackles Clark
’I bear no grudge against region’
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday took an exception to Chief Edwin Clark’s reaction to his (Obasanjo’s) insistence that Niger Delta cannot lay claim to the crude oil found in the region.
Chief Obasanjo reminded the leader of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Ijaw National Congress (INC) that the mineral resources found in any particular state or territory does not belong to the area of location, but to Nigeria.
Obasanjo emphasised that there cannot be two sovereign entities within a country, stressing that this situation cannot change until the Nigerian federation is dissolved.
He refuted claims by Clark that he hated the people of Niger Delta due to resource control agitation.
Clark had last week criticised Obasanjo over what he called hatred against the oil-producing states.
The former Federal Information Commissioner was reacting to a recent remark by the former President in Abuja, against the National Secretary of the INC, Ebipamowei Wodu, during a peace and security parley convened by the Global Peace Foundation and Vision Africa.
Obasanjo had claimed at the event that the oil in the Niger Delta was deposited by God and therefore, belonged to all Nigerians.
His comments drew criticisms from Afenifere, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and Middle-Belt Forum.
Clark had said the groups will take a critical look at any invitation to attend future state-of-the-nation dialogue, especially if convened by the former president.
He said Obasanjo’s comment was ‘unstatesmanlike’ and smacked of hatred against the people of the oil-rich region.
In an open letter to Obasanjo titled: “My disappointment over your unprovoked outburst against the people of the Niger Delta region,” Clark accused the ex – President of double standards over resource control in the country.
Obasanjo disagreed, saying that as president, he allowed the constitutional provisions to guide him on appointments and resource control.
He maintained that mineral resources found anywhere within the federation, belong to the Federal Government and not the place of location.