Chief Edwin Clark, the elder statesman, has warned Vice President Yemi Osinbajo not to participate in talks with the South-South region without taking along aggrieved leaders.
Clark warned that the region’s aggrieved citizens are willing to take matters into their own hands if the government decides to neglect the problems that they have brought up.
In a personally signed letter addressed to Vice President Osinbajo and made available to newspeakers on Tuesday. questions
The South-South chief cautioned that this current administration has continued to display disrespect for regional matters, and that this will no longer be tolerated.
He also accused Osinbajo of holding ‘secret meetings’ with others who are not informed about the events in the area on regional issues.
In his letter, Clark referred to the Osinbajo closed-door meeting held a few days ago at the State House, Abuja, with the duo of Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva and Deputy Governor of the Delta State, Mr Kingsley Otuaro, on renewed agitations in the Delta region of Niger without involving grievous stakeholders.
“The recent developments in Delta State; where some Communities and groups i.e. Ijaws of Gbaramatu and Ogulagha, Itsekiris, Urhobos, Ukwanis, Isokos, etc. issued ultimatums and threats to disrupt oil and gas operations in their areas, due to Federal Government’s continued apathetic attitude towards the region.”
“I have been inundated with countless calls since the news of that supposed meeting from various quarters, including the media, and many have expressed serious exception to the fact that critical stakeholders of the region were not consulted or involved.
“The action, whatever the intentions were, is not only thoughtless but is also a betrayal of trust, to say the least, and likely to stir up unnecessary tension in the region.
“This again shows the creepy attitude of this administration, and its practice of exclusion, and non-committal to issues of the Niger Delta.” He siad
He accused the federal government of ignoring the region’s needs and demands, while utilizing the region’s oil money to develop other parts of the country.
He added that if not checked, such acts can bring back the years of militancy, abductions, and bombings in the Niger-Delta region.
“It is sad that this government has continued to behave in this manner, and sadly, with the support of some of our people.
“Unfortunately, in spite of the gains arising from the subsisting peace in the region, and the conciliatory gesture of the Niger Delta people, the Federal Government has continued to demonstrate indifference to issues affecting the Niger Delta region.”
“An issue that easily comes to mind is this administration’s abandonment of the Export Processing Zone (EPZ)/Gas Revolution Industrial Park Project at Ogidigben in Itsekiri and Gbaramatu in Ijaw, in favour of the building of AKK Gas Pipeline in Ajaokuta to Abuja, Kaduna and Kano for about 2.8 Billion Dollars. Sadly the name of the project, AKK Gas Pipeline, even ignores the name of Escravos from where the gas and the pipeline starts.
“This is very unfortunate; I consider it part of the deliberate attempts to undermine the efforts of the people of the region and the leadership of PANDEF. It is capable of causing disaffection and unnecessary tension in the region.
“The Minister of State Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, in fairness to him, was not part of our past conversations on some of these issues, so he may not be blamed for this new action.
Clark noted that the Niger Delta Leaders are particularly disappointed by some actions of the Vice President and warned him to take matters of the region seriously or face the consequences.
“Let me make it clear that we are prepared to take our destiny in our own hands, no matter the consequence that will follow suit. Enough is Enough.”