Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Tuesday insisted that the oil found in the Niger Delta constitutionally belonged to Nigeria and not the region.
Obasanjo spoke in response to allegations raised by Niger Delta elder, Edwin Clark.
Clark had accused the former president of exhibiting a disappointing display of hatred against the Niger Delta people.
However, in a six-page letter, Obasanjo alleged that Clark wrongfully accused him.
The former president stressed that his recent comments on Niger Delta were misconstrued.
The letter reads partly: “All those who purchase crude oil from Nigeria enter into a contractual relationship with Nigeria, not with the Niger Delta. The territory of Nigeria is indivisible inclusive of the resources found therein.
“No territory in Nigeria including the minerals found therein belongs to the area of location and this remains so until the federation is dissolved.
“This is the position of the Nigerian Constitution and international law. If there is a threat of violence to any part of Nigeria today including the Niger Delta it is the Nigerian military backed by any other machinery that can be procured or established at the Federal level that will respond to any such threat.
“In principle and practice, the position I have taken on the location of mineral resources in any part of Nigeria is the legal and constitutional position.”
Clark accused Obasanjo of showing no discontent about the struggle for resource control by the people of the Niger Delta when he visited his house.
But, the elder statesman commended the former president for visiting him at his Asokoro residence recently.
He had disclosed that they both engaged in a discussion that bothers on national issues.