The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), has berated former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo over his claim that oil in the Niger Delta region belongs to Nigeria and not the people of the region, noting that the ex president is being mischievous.
Obasanjo had, on Tuesday, in response to an open letter to him by Pa Edwin Clark, an elder statesman and leader of PANDEF, said that contrary to claims that oil in Niger Delta is owned by people in the region, the oil belongs to the state of Nigeria.
However, not satisfied with Obasanjo’s position, the National Publicity Secretary of PANDEF, Ken Robinson, in Port Harcourt, said it was wrong for the former president who should be a statesman to take a provocative position.
“God, in his infinite mercy, and all-knowing status, has placed within the lands of Niger Delta these resources to ameliorate the sufferings of the people to make life easier for them. But unfortunately, Nigeria has exploited and plundered these resources with little or no attention to the Niger Delta people,” he said.
The PANDEF spokesman noted that Obasanjo is only comfortable claiming that the Nigerian constitution places ownership of oil on the entire federation because he is a beneficiary of the lopsided constitution imposed by the military, while wondering if the former president could have taken the same position if the oil was in his own home town.
“Former President Obasanjo should stop being mischievous. What he is doing is just playing to the gallery. He could talk about the Constitution and what it provides because he is a chief beneficiary of this flawed, lopsided, faulty military imposed Constitution,” he said.
“If Ogun State was producing oil, will Obasanjo make the comment he is making? Is it not provocative that Obasanjo will say that oil in Niger Delta belongs to the whole of Nigeria, while the gold in Zamfara and Osun belongs to the respective states?
“He could talk about 13 per cent and all of that because his state is not oil-producing. If Ogun was an oil-producing state, would he be happy that 13 per cent is all the people get from all that they give to Nigeria?
“When cocoa and groundnut were the mainstay of the nation’s economy, where they talking about 13 per cent, was it not 50 per cent? Why the unfair treatment given to the Niger Delta people?
“The country is aware of how he behaved like a dictator as president and some of the issues we are facing today, he started them. We recall how Odi community was invaded on his orders and he claims to be a statesman. He does not have the standing.”
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