Oil ownership: ACF backs Obasanjo against Edwin Clark

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The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has backed former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s stance that crude oil found in the Niger Delta region of the country belongs to the Federal Government rather than the people of the region.

ACF spokesman, Emmanuel Yawe made the group’s position known on Wednesday.

His reaction came in the midst of a heated exchange between former President Obasanjo and Niger Delta leader, Chief Edwin Clark.

Obasanjo had incurred Clark’s wrath when, at a peace and security parley convened by the Global Peace Foundation and Vision Africa a few weeks ago, he attacked the National Secretary of the Ijaw National Congress (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.

In a scathing open letter released on December 22, Clark accused Obasanjo of nurturing hatred towards the people of the Niger Delta, an allegation the former president vehemently denied.

In his reaction, Yawe said that the group aligned with Obasanjo because his position was in tandem with the constitution of the country.

He said that the constitution expressly vested ownership and control of mineral resources found anywhere in Nigeria in the Federal Government.

“Former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s argument is based on the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

“Many communities that have these minerals are against this provision. As long as this aspect of the constitution remains the way it is, there is nothing that can be done. That is the law.

“The ACF believes in the rule of law. Those against this provision should seek a way of amending this aspect of the constitution,” The Punch quoted Yawe as saying.

 

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