A former Nigeria federal commissioner and currently leader of the Ijaw nation in the Sout South, Chief Edwin Clark has asked the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu to drop the agitation for Biafra even as he condemned the Arewa coalition for the quit notice they issued to Igbos to leave the North.
Edwin Clark who spoke when the Chairman, Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debt, Senator Shehu Sani, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja 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 Igbos have been living in the North for over 100 years. I condemn all of them.
“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.”
On clamour for regionalism, 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.”
In his remarks, Sani said that theproblem Nigeria has with devolution of power is how to tackle some of the problems that come with it.
“For example, the present crop of governors might not be able to handle state police in a manner that people who disagree with them can be safe.
“Secondly, the manner in which elections are conducted by state independent electoral commissions where the ruling party in state wins all positions is worrisome.
“So, if we devolve the police, we have to allay the fears of people on the implications. Those who are championing some of these issues need to make clarifications.” [myad]