Restructure for Peace – Edwin Clark tells FG
Foremost Niger Delta leader, Chief Edwin Clark, yesterday reiterated his call for the restructuring of the Nigeria, stressing that only a genuine restructuring of the political administration of Nigeria would resolve arms struggle in various parts of the country.
Clark stated this in his opening remark yesterday at a Stakeholders’ Consultative Meeting on the current insecurity in the Niger Delta region with attendance by leaders of the various ethnic nationalities in the six coastal states of the region.
The Ijaw leader who convened the meeting, said solutions to Nigeria’s problems are contained in the resolutions reached at the 2014 National Conference.
He described the renewed militancy in the region as unfortunate, pointing out that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government must find lasting solutions to the various arms struggle ranging from Boko Haram, Biafra, cattle herdsmen, kidnapping and militancy.
Clark called on militants in the region to cease from further bombing of oil facilities in the area as it was severely affecting the socio-economic and eco-system of the people.
According to him, “my strong belief is that only a genuine restructuring of the political administration of the country will remove most of these problems in the country. With such, the issues that lead some of us to take up arms will be resolved.
“I posit that the answers to many, if not all, of these issues are contained in the Report of the 2014 National Conference. I salute well-meaning persons who have supported the call for restructuring the country.
“We must find a permanent solution to the various problems we are facing in this country including the youth revolt in the Niger Delta, Fulani herdsmen, Boko Haram, Biafra agitation, kidnapping and recently, the inability of the various states to pay their workers’ salaries and pension.”
While commending the President Buhari for indicating the willingness to to open line of dialogue with the aggrieved niger Delta youths, Chief Clark stated such discussion should be channel through genuine leaders from the region.
He added that resolutions reached at the meeting would go a long way to curb militants resurgence in the oil-rich region saying that “we are here to seek and proffer solutions. We are here to chart a way forward to bring peace that will last, peace that will endure and peace that engender development to our region.”
Leaders from various ethnic nationalities drawn from the six coastal states of the Niger Delta region were in attendance including Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.