28th December, 2021
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has written a reply to Chief Edwin Clark, the leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Ijaw National Congress, INC. It was on the accusation that he (Obasanjo) hates the people of the Niger Delta. Worse still, Obasanjo argued that oil extracted from Niger Delta does not belong to the people. He said that at a peace and security parley convened by the Global Peace Foundation and Vision Africa in Abuja recently
Also, Obasanjo, in his 28 December 2021 letter, addressed the issue of Zamfara gold that Clark raised in his earlier letter. According to Obasanjo: “At the end of the day, it may transpire that our linguistic differences on the matter are no more than semantics. And we stand by on the same logic with respect to the criminal mining of gold deposits in Zamfara or any other state in Nigeria…”
Clark earlier wrote: “By the way, may I ask you, why you have not made a similar outburst against the open declaration of the governor and the people of Zamfara State, that the gold under their soil belongs to them? Where were you when people went to the Villa, accompanied by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, to present a gold bar to President Muhammadu Buhari? It was mined by the government and people of Zamfara State, as their property. Your Excellency probably did not speak because Zamfara State belongs to the North, whose interest you continuously hold dear to your heart.
“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, same rules for all. As the saying goes, what is sauce for the sauce is sauce for the gander.
In the letter titled “My response to the open letter by Clark”, Obasanjo wrote: “Let me proceed with the most basic constitutional fact that you cannot have two entities in a sovereign State.”
Those who purchase crude from Nigeria “enter into a contractual relationship with Nigeria and not the Niger Delta.”
Obasanjo went further: “I have never shown any anger, distraught with Niger Delta region nor any part of Nigeria.
“Some of the languages you have deployed to describe me in your letter are offensive, uncouth and I totally and completely rejected them.
“I am not inconsistent, hypocritical, unstatesmanlike, and nor am I anybody’s lackey.
“You use your own yardstick to judge others. I hope you think and adjust. Negotiation achieves better results than dictation.”
Below are pages of Obasanjo’s letter: