Foremost Niger-Delta leader, Edwin Clark, Tuesday vehemently condemned the Biafran agitation led by Nnamdi Kanu, stating that he lacked a proper grasp of the issues and the right approach.
He also condemned the quit notice issued by the Arewa youths to Igbos resident in the North.
Clark reportedly made these views known when the Chairman, Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debt, Senator Shehu Sani, paid him a visit at his Abuja residence on Monday.
He noted that restructuring was the only appropriate objective for those serious about fixing the country, warning that secession or agitation was counter-productive
He said, “When Kanu talks about Biafra, he is talking nonsense. We do not want a second war. America fought their civil war for a long time and they are not thinking of a second one. Kanu should drop the agitation.
“At the same time, it is arrogant and foolish on the part of some northern youths to issue quit notice. You do not own the North. It is part of Nigeria and anybody can live there.
“The Igbo have been living in the North for over 100 years. I condemn all of them.”
Clark called for significant measures to restructure the country, while also noting that the country had had some successful steps in restructuring over time.
“We have been living together since 1914 and from time to time, we have been changing the way of our lives. In 1947, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe said the Richard Constitution was obnoxious; that it was anti-people. In 1950, we had the Macpherson Constitution which created the three regions and in 1963, we had another constitution.
“During all these constitutions, the issue of fiscal federation was very prominent. So, we have been restructuring this country and nobody talked about breaking up the country. The war between 1967 and 1970 was an unfortunate one.”
Clark lamented the vote against devolution of power by the National Assembly, stating that it was borne out of the fear that it would limit the power of the legislators.
He said, “We have reached a stage where states are not paying salaries and something has to be done to gear their minds to see what they can do in their own area to generate money. I am happy you believe in restructuring, which can be achieved within a short time but it may take up to 20 years if we do not agree among ourselves.
“So, once more I want to say that when you resume, the issue of devolution of power should be re-visited so that the Federal Government will deal with foreign affairs, prisons, customs and a few other things”.
On the regionalism debate, Clark said, “You cannot abolish the states now and say you want six regions. It is not going to be easy or possible now.
“I feel we should use the same states as federating units and the local governments should remain with the states.”
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