Oil ownership: ACF backs Obasanjo, PANDEF, INC fume, say constitution fraudulent
The northern socio-political organisation, Arewa Consultative Forum, has disagreed with the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, the Ijaw National Congress and some civil rights groups over the ownership of crude oil in the Niger Delta.
The ACF spokesman, Emmanuel Yawe, in an interview with The PUNCH on Wednesday supported the position of former President Olusegun Obasanjo that the crude oil in the Niger Delta belonged to the Federal Government not people in the region.
But PANDEF, the INC and other groups that spoke to our correspondents faulted the former president and supported an elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, who lambasted Obasanjo over his position on the oil in the Niger Delta.
Obasanjo had at a Peace and Security parley convened by the Global Peace Foundation and Vision Africa a few weeks ago attacked the National Secretary of the INC, Ebipamowei Wodu, over the latter’s outburst.
Wodu at the forum said the Ijaw were being treated like second class citizens in Nigeria despite producing the oil and gas resources that had sustained the country.
Clark in an open letter to the former President on December 22 took a swipe at Obasanjo, alleging that his hatred against the people of the oil-producing states in Nigeria was disappointing.
But in an open letter to Clark released on Monday, the former president faulted the elder statesman’s claim that he hated the people of Niger Delta due to resource control agitation.
Those who reacted to the exchange of brickbats between Obasanjo and Clark on Wednesday expressed divergent views.
Constitution flawed, imposed by military, Obasanjo, mischievous – PANDEF
PANDEF advised Obasanjo to stop being mischievous and insensitive to issues concerning the Niger Delta.
It said it was worrisome that Obasanjo, who knows the difficult Niger Delta terrain and the effects of oil exploration on the environment there, would be playing the devil’s advocate.
The National Publicity Secretary of PANDEF, Ken Robinson, who said this during a telephone interview with one of our correspondents, stated, “PANDEF is saying that former Olusegun Obasanjo should stop being mischievous. The former president understands what we are talking about when we are talking about oil in the Niger Delta. He was here during the Civil War as a commandant and all that.
“So he understands what we are talking about. Unfortunately, he continues to play the role of the devil’s advocate. So, former President Obasanjo should stop being mischievous because that is what he is doing.
“He was talking about people being tribesmen and all that and asking people to be statesmen. He himself needs to be a statesman, because he is not.
“He knows what we are talking about the environmental degradation in the Niger Delta, the harsh living conditions due to oil exploration and of course the difficult terrain in the region.