Ndigbo Must Produce Nigerian President In 2023, Clark, Ijaw Leader, Insists
Chief Edwin Clark, the Leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and Chairman of Board of Trustees of the Ijaw National Congress (INC),
has again warned that equity and fairness demand that all other Nigerians should allow the Southeast to produce Nigeria’s next President in 2023.
The elder statesman said on Tuesday in Arise TV morning show that General Yakubu Gowon should have allowed the Igbos to go (leave Nigeria in 1967) if they are to be treated as second class citizens.
He therefore insists that the position must go to the Southeast to end the marginalisation of the area for more than five decades since after the civil war in which they were forcefully brought back into the country.
Clark, on Arise TV breakfast programme, The Morning Show, echoing the position of a Coalition of Southern and Middle Belt Leaders, under the aegis of Southern and Middle Belt Forum (MBF), vowed that the idea of Nigeria would be buried in the rubble of the injustice the nation would suffer by the North seizing power once again after the eight years of President Muhammadu Buhari.
His words: “We’re not threatening anybody, we also have our own plans. Nigeria belongs to all of us. What will an Igbo man tell his son? That after the war, you cannot become President? After the war, you still have five states, five Ministers, you have the lowest revenue coming to you? No way!
“Look, if you’re blaming (Nnamdi) Kanu (Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra – IPOB), look at the country you belong to – you have different laws for different people. Some people without committing offence, or alleged offence they may have committed, you say they are terrorists, then the terrorists in the Northeast, who have been killing our people, you capture them, you dress them, and say you have forgiven them, you pardon them, sew uniform for them, who are you deceiving?
“I do not think that there are so many people in this country, who are senior to me by age. I’m appealing to my fellow Northerners, we want a peaceful Nigeria, where all of us are equal, where our children can aspire to any position, otherwise they’ll be asking questions and they won’t allow it lying low.
“If you’re thinking of population, that you’ll use your population to oppress the South, now we say no! Those days are gone. Atiku (Abubakar) is parading himself that Fulanis will vote for him, how many Fulanis voted for him in 2019? About five million and about five million Southerners voted for him. How many times has he been contesting elections?
“You want to be President! What qualifies him to be wanting to be President than any other Nigerian?
“We’re not threatening anybody. We have our plans also. The country belongs to us also.
“For over 30 years, you’ve been ruling this country militarily. Yet you say you don’t know what is called restructuring. Yet you carried out restructuring in this country – created more states, created more local governments, changed our revenue system – what did they not do? You rewrote our constitution.
“So, it is not proper for people to deceive this country. We’re educated people in this country. There are people who would not allow themselves to be tossed around.”
Describing Nigeria as a “three-legged pot – one leg is in the north, the two others in the west and east,” he added: “Nigeria has never been steady since one of the legs was destroyed during the civil war.
“When Lord Fredrick Luggard created Nigeria in 1914, it did not say some people are superior to the other. Nigeria was a three-legged pot. One leg is in the north, the two others in the west and east. But one was destroyed during the war, and Nigeria has not been steady. Nigeria stood on three legs, and it has never been steady since one of the legs was destroyed during the Civil War.
“Gowon should have allowed the Igbos to go if they are to be treated as second class citizens. You have no moral justification for keeping second class citizens in your country.”