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 Obasanjo’s Flight Of Fantasy: A Joke Taken Too Far

Obasanjo’s Flight Of Fantasy: A Joke Taken Too Far


Friday, December 17, 2021

Obasanjo’s Flight Of Fantasy: A Joke Taken Too Far

After a careful watch and thoughtful analysis of the trending short video clip/broadcast your GEE TV on 13th December 2021t, the Ijaw National Congress  frowns at the blatant emotional outburst, crude and rude disruption and attack of former President  Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo on the National Secretary of the INC, Engr. Ebipamowei Wodu while presenting the ljaw position at the forum organised by the Global Peace Foundation in collaboration with Vision Africa at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja.

In the broadcast, former President Olusegun Obasanjo is seen tackling in an ungentlemanly and unstatemanly manner the National Secretary of the INC, Engr. Ebipamowei Wodu, over his views on issues bordering on the age-long neglect, suffering and general underdevelopment of the Ijaw territory and people in and by the Nigerian State.

The event was themed, ‘Inclusive Security Dialogue: Unbundling Barriers, A Strategic Meeting For Key Influencers.’

The  trending video quoted the INC National Secretary as inferring thus:

“I have listened attentively to what everybody has said. We are actually on the right track, but it is not enough. Just like one of us said here; if we must make an impact, we must be able to convince the government to take some of the decisions we are making today.

“For us as Ijaws, we have been treated as second class citizens. I don’t have any reservations about that. Ijaws today produce the bulk of the resources from oil and gas in this country that is the mainstay…”

The INC national scribe had not finished expressing this  position when  the self acclaimed  all-knowing OBJ, without recourse to decorum and meeting procedures, interjected , saying, “There we go again o, there we go again o…” And then he went into a momentary fit of outburst, banging the table intermittently while making historically-proven erroneous assertions that had been ingrained in his inner recesses and had become his article of faith over issues concerning the Ijaw and Niger Delta people.

During Obasanjo’s flight of fantasy, Wodu, as a proud, civilized and well cultured son of Ijawnation  maintained his sanity and allowed Obasanjo to finish massaging his personal ego.

Obasanjo  and his likes who have over the years  denied the ljaw nation every opportunity to annex, own and control her God given resources must be told in very clear and unmistakable terms that we  cannot be intimidated, hushed and harassed into a moronic silence.

The former president’s brazen attempt to bully, with his unguarded vituperation the INC National Secretary who was succinctly advancing the views and stance of the entire ljaw people on their unfair treatment perpetually visited on us by successive Nigerian  hegemonic and repressive governments  clearly exposed another chapter of Obasanjo and his likes’ underbelly which is replete with bile and rebounding negatives that have continually promoted Ijaw balkanization, servitude and subjugation unashamedly.

Obasanjo’s claim that “As long as Nigeria is together, whatever that is under the ground is giving to all Nigerians” and that “We are to manage it together” smacks of the wicked script of the Nigerian State against the Ijaws and their resources, which he also perpetuated during his eight years of misadventure in Aso Rock. OBJ’s Land Use Decree remains the most obnoxious and catastrophic piece of legislation  designed and religiously implemented to undermine the ljaws and other minority ethnic nationalities in this country their inalienable right to benefit from their God given blessings.

We consider his claim on resource ownership perfidious, provocative oppressive and wicked just as it negates the decades-long derivation principle which was pegged at 100 per cent in 1946, and remained so until Nigeria’s Independence when it was whimsically reduced to 50 per cent, and callously and drastically reduced to a paltry 1.3 per cent and later a meager 13 per cent when oil and gas replaced cocoa, groundnut and palm oil as the dominant economic mainstay of the country.

The inequality around the oppressive derivation principle, we all know, only changed when oil and gas became the major foreign exchange earner for the Nigerian State.

OBJ should also be bold enough to extend the outburst on the Ownership of the Gold in Zamfara, the Bitumen in Ondo and other minerals extracted as private commercial  ventures in states and communities outside the Niger Delta.

Need we remind Obasanjo that while he gloats with his warped and anaemic  resources-for-all fantasy, the debilitating environmental, human, social and economic brunt resulting from oil and gas exploration and exploitation by the Nigerian State and their multinational collaborators, are borne and suffered only by the Ijaw and Niger Delta people and not shared with, and by others, including Obasanjo’s community, Ota.

Obasanjo has not visited any oil and gas-related polluted sites across Ijaw land and the Niger Delta region to appreciate first hand the enormity of environmental degradation and calamity suffered by the people with attendant health challenges and lack of access to social amenities.

We are not surprised at the hatred of the former president for the Ijaw and Niger Delta people as he demonstrated a huge dose of this towards Ijaw people when he, in a supposed democracy, in 1999, ordered armed soldiers to invade an Ijaw community, Odi, in Bayelsa State.

The ‘Odi Massacre’ as now known in the annals of Nigerian political history, will remain unforgettable in the memories of generations of Ijaw people.

We are, however, only consoled that the courts of the land gave  judgment in favour of Odi people and ordered the Federal  Government to pay the community the sum of N37.6bn as compensation for the damages caused by the recklessness and power-drunkenness of Obasanjo who wrought such an act of inhumanity on a defenceless community. Like a leopard, he has not changed his skin of horrible thoughts about the Ijaw and Niger Delta people.

Recent developments in the country, particularly the Petroleum Industry Act, the none-constitution of the Niger Delta Development Commission Board, non inclusion of the ljaw terrain the NNPC road project’s, and exclusion of ljaws for the top NNPC managerial appointments  and the balkanization of the ljaws into political irrelevance  etc are lucid pointers to the deliberate plot to hold Ijaw and Niger Delta people hostage and be subjected to poverty and a state of arrested development, relished by Obasanjo and his likes.

The ljaw nation under the auspices of its umbrella Socio-cultural organisation, the ljaw National Congress held a summit on the 4th December 2021 to evaluate, review and introspect into into the past, present and future existential challenges and strategies of survival of the ljaw people and resolved not to LAMENT anymore but seek and, pursue Self Determination through the mechanisms of peaceful engagement, diplomatic and other nonviolent means.

We are convinced that the former president would have held a totally different view and also jealously guarded oil and gas resources if his Ota home town were an oil-bearing community. He can only be entitled to his opinion, which he cannot impose on the Ijaw and Niger Delta people. He can’t re-write history.

His attack on the INC national scribe is an attack on the Ijaw and Niger Delta people and we condemn it in its entirety. This outburst should serve as an Eye opener to other oppressed minority entities in this contraption of the grand resource conspiracy against us and our environment.

OBJ, maybe, unconsciously but loudly emptied the mind set of the Nigerian Oligarchy who cares more about how to ravage our resources to develop themselves  and far far less about the pains and agony we face bearing the supposedly common wealth.

The attitude of the State during the recent the Nembe Oil and Gas spills that lasted for over a month with no credible  clean up, remediation and compensation programme in place for the victims, speaks volumes of  the disposition of the Nigerian State when it comes to dealing with the ljaws and other minorities in this country.

We are rich in endowments. human and natural. But poor because our Leaders have made us beggars to what rightly belongs to us.

We, therefore, demand that Obasanjo retract his misplaced anger and apologize to the Ijaw and Niger Delta people, who, undeniably, had been feeding him, his state and the Nigerian State over the years.


Thanks for the audience.

Prof Benjamin Okaba

President, ljaw  National Congress

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