Elder statesman, Edwin Clark, has slammed the Muhammadu Buhari government for taking credit for the restoration of peace to the Niger Delta region.
Recall that President Buhari recently commended his administration’s efforts in sustaining peace in the Niger Delta region, adding that he would ensure that the zone remains peaceful.
But in an open letter to Buhari on Thursday, Clark said the claim made by the President that his government’s efforts were the reason the South-South region is peaceful is “untenable, untrue and without foundation”.
The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) leader argued that the Umar Musa Ya’radua government was responsible for the significant peace being enjoyed in the region.
While noting that insecurity in the region reduced during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, the elder statesman admitted that insecurity in the region resumed after Buhari assumed office.
Clark also accused Buhari of marginalising the region, abandoning several projects, and persecuting leaders from the region who served under the previous administration.
He said: “Mr President, may I make it very clear to you that the area is sitting on a keg of gunpowder, and any attempt to scrap the amnesty programme may produce unpleasant consequences to all,” Clark wrote.
“Our people are very conscious of the developments that your government is carrying out in other areas of the country with monies derived from oil exploration in their area.
“We repeat, our agitation against the use of money looted from our area by the late Gen. Sani Abacha, which was recovered from the United States of America, exclusively for the construction of the so-called mega projects by the federal government, and the illegal confiscation of 2.4 million pounds from the British government as loot recovered from the former governor of Delta state, Chief James Ibori, under the flimsy excuse by the attorney-general of the federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, that it was the federal government, which as a nation, negotiated with the British government, and that it was an agreement between the two governments that the money should be used for federal projects; this is not true.
“Meanwhile, federal roads in the Niger Delta region have mostly collapsed and applying these funds to rehabilitate these collapsed roads, would have gone a long way to solving some of our problems.
“Please Mr President, I respectfully wish to state that your claim of bringing peace to the South-South geo-political zone, is untenable, untrue and without foundation. The deliberate neglect of the south-south, can lead to the explosion of the keg of gunpowder upon which we are sitting in the Niger Delta.
“I strongly advise you to listen and heed to the various open letters I have written to you.”