President Olusegun Obasanjo has rebuffed claims by Niger Delta leader, Chief Edwin Clark of harbouring a hatred for the oil-producing region saying that he had never shown anger or distraught to the Niger Delta region or any part of the country.
Obasanjo made the assertion as he reacted to Chief Edwin Clark’s accusation that he (Obasanjo) had a disdain for the Niger Delta region and was insincere in his admonitions towards the region.
Clark, who is the leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Ijaw National Congress, INC, made the assertions in an open letter to Obasanjo.
According to Clark, Obasanjo’s comments that the oil found in the Niger Delta does not belong to the people of the region, were a reflection of the former president’s continuous arrogant stance and disposition against Niger Delta.
President Obasanjo was reported to had, at a peace and security parley convened by the Global Peace Foundation and Vision Africa in Abuja, attacked the National Secretary of the INC, Ebipamowei Wodu.
Responding to Clark in an open letter dated December 28, Obasanjo said what Clark called an outburst is his (Obasanjo’s) way of getting people/listeners’ attention.
In the letter titled “My response to the open letter by Clark”, Obasanjo said: “Let me proceed with the most basic constitutional fact that you cannot have two entities in a sovereign State.”
Obasanjo insisted that those who purchase crude from Nigeria enter into contractual relationship with Nigeria and not the Niger Delta.
In addressing the claim by Clark of his hatred towards the Niger Delta, Obasanjo said: “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, un-statesman, 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.”