Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Tuesday, replied the leader of Niger Delta, Edwin Clark, over allegations of his hatred against the region.
Obasanjo said Nigeria and Niger Delta demand in Clark, a statesman and not tribesman, just as he warned leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Ijaw National Congress, against deploying “offensive and uncouth languages” to describe his personality.
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Clark, had on Wednesday hit Obasanjo over what he termed “a disappointing display of hatred against the people of the oil-producing states in Nigeria.”
He was reacting to a recent outburst by the former President in Abuja, where he attacked the National Secretary of the INC, Ebipamowei Wodu, at a peace and security parley convened by the Global Peace Foundation and Vision Africa.
In an open letter to Obasanjo titled, ‘My disappointment over your unprovoked outburst against the people of the Niger Delta region’, Clark accused the former President of double standards over resource control in the country.
But reacting to Clark, Obasanjo said he bears no grudge against the Niger Delta.
Obasanjo’s response was contained in a letter dated December 28, 2021, titled, “My response to the open letter by Clark.”
The former President noted that Some of the languages deployed by Clark to describe him “are offensive and uncouth”, to which he “totally and completely rejected them.”
He 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, unstatesman, and nor am I anybody’s lackey.
“You use your own yardstick to judge others. I fear God and I respect those who respect themselves and I hope it is about time you change from a tribesman to a statesman of character.
“That’s what Nigeria and indeed the Region you process to love demand of you at this stage.
“I believe one lesson that we all must appreciate that we have all learned in the last sixty – one years of our independence is that we all need to be civil to ourselves and occasionally put ourselves in position of others.
“Bad language does not show prudence, wisdom and maturity. I hope you will think and adjust.”