Edwin Clark Urges President Tinubu to Restructure Nigeria for Unity

by Ohepo Ohepo

Abuja, June 14, 2024 – Edwin Clark, convener of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), has called on President Bola Tinubu to prioritize the restructuring of Nigeria to maintain the nation’s unity. In an open letter dated June 13, Clark highlighted ongoing discrimination against the south-east region under Tinubu’s administration and emphasized the necessity of implementing the 2014 National Conference Report.

Clark expressed his concerns about the unequal treatment of the Igbos, pointing out disparities in ministerial appointments. “Mr. President, even in your administration, the discrimination and injustice against the Igbos have not abated,” he wrote. He noted that while the South-West received ten ministerial appointments, the South-East was allotted only five, missing one that was due to their region.

Clark attributed the electoral loss of Peter Obi, the Labour Party candidate from the South-East, to internal disunity and lack of support from the Igbo community. “Most Igbos refused to unite behind him with their resources before and during the election,” he stated, suggesting that unity and collective effort are crucial for the region’s political advancement.

He emphasized the importance of restructuring for Nigeria’s continued unity and urged President Tinubu to act on the 2014 National Conference Report, which includes 600 recommendations for national restructuring. “The immediate restructuring of Nigeria must be carried out if this country is to remain one,” Clark reiterated, advocating for equitable treatment and opportunities for all regions.

Clark also called on the Igbos to assert their rights in a democratic manner, reflecting on the pre-civil war era when the region enjoyed equal status. “The Igbos of South-East or wherever they are in Nigeria, must stand up and assert their rights legitimately, judiciously, and in a democratic way,” he urged.

The elder statesman concluded with a plea for mutual respect and fairness among Nigerians. “Let us do what is right; let us accommodate one another and be fair to one another,” Clark appealed, advocating for a united and just Nigeria.

The letter underscores the ongoing debate over national unity and the need for comprehensive reforms to address regional disparities and foster inclusivity in Nigeria.

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