A former Minister of State for Education, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, has insisted that oil well in the Niger Delta will not dry up in the next 100 years.
He made the remark in response to Osinbajo’s call for diversification of the nation’s economy because the value of oil would drop in the next 20 to 30 years.
In his reaction, the former Minister described Osinbajo’s comment as political without foundation, stressing that those in government must seek information where they do not have such.
Addressing reporters in Abuja, Gbagi also frowned at Osinbajo’s visit to Olu of Warrior, His Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli and not going to Urhobo land.
He claimed that the federal government took the people of Urhobo for granted for not visiting the area which was the hob of gas production.
Gbagi alleged that the refusal of the Vice President to visit Ughelli in Urhobo land, was a replay of what happened in 1971 when the then Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon scheduled a visit to the land but the secretary, an Itsekiri did not allow the visit to materialise.
According to Gbagi, “While we are looking for peace, the sensibility of Urhobo people should not be taken for granted, the Urhobo people have been taken for granted for too long in the scheme of things.
“A similar situation happened in 1971 when Gowon was to visit Midwest which is now Delta, the Secretary then was an Iteskiri man and they crafted a similar visit to exclude the Urhobo nation, it is on record that Urhobos hold the bedrock of gas company, that is the major source of electricity in Nigeria today, not to talk of all the oil wells, pipelines across the entire Urhobo nation. Urhobos being the 4th largest nationality in Nigeria have been for sometimes now neglected and relegated to the background because of their peaceful nature.
“While it appears that trouble makers get greater reward in Nigeria, the school of violence, agitations does not belong to any ethnic group. I see the visit of the Vice President as irresponsibly put together as it is not in the interest of the much desired peace; I congratulate the Orodje of Okpe Kingdom and all those who walked out from that gathering of shame.
“I was reliably informed that the Programme which originally was to see the Vice President’s visit to Gbaramatu, the Olu of Warri and the visit to Ughelli where the oldest traditional ruler, the Owhorode of Olomu who is 100 years resides, to host all the traditional rulers in conjunction with a meeting with the Vice President, was truncated by the governor of the State and the deputy.
“We should root for genuine peace to support the good initiative of Mr. president and stop playing lip service or waste the economic base of Nigeria.
“Quoting the Vice President, at least 97% of the economy today is rested on oil and gasj his claim that oil will soon finish or dry up is a political statement without foundation, the gas situated on Otolobo at least will last for another 100 years, tax payers’ money earners like the Vice President and persons in government must seek information where they don’t have them and stop heating the polity.
“I will grant a statement on the second year of the administration in Delta as I have done in all previous governments. Urhobos will make our position known to the government at the Centre.
“The visit of the Vice President is meaningless, made no statement; it is akin to a personal visit to the Olu of Warri as there is no policy statement from the government addressing the issues at hand.”