Elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark has given reason behind the recent endorsement of the candidature of Nigeria’s former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar by the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF).
He disclosed that leaders of PANDEF endorsed Atiku Abubakar for President because he is the only candidate that believes in restructuring Nigeria.
The former minister of information, who spoke in an interview with Channels Television, said the South-south forum agreed after due consultations that the salvation of Nigeria is in restructuring.
Edwin Clark who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, said the South-south has been marginalized for too long.
He said, “We in the Niger Delta produce the resources that feed this country, but we are not participants. We are neglected, dehumanized, marginalized.”
“Instead of moving forward, we are moving backward.”
He insisted that restructuring is the only solution to the Nigeria’s survival and development, hence the endorsement of a candidate that believes in the same ideology.
Chief Clark said the about 17 presidential candidates were spoken to before the decision was taken, he said they were all questioned about their position on the issue of restructuring and Atiku’s take on the matter sufficed.
He noted that even President Muhammadu Buhari has been questioned on the same issue but says he (Buhari) does not believe in the idea of restructuring.
“Buhari said he does not believe in restructuring,” Edwin Clark said.
To drive home his point about the marginalization of his people, Chief Clark questioned the basis upon which certain appointments have been made across the nation.
“The NNPC is the engine room of the oil industry. Nine directors were appointed into NNPC board, six of these members are from the North, including the Chief of Staff. On what basis?”
He said the talks about restructuring has been on for long and nothing has been done about it to give the minorities a sense of pride, rather than be treated like second class citizens.
The elder statesman said that Atiku’s endorsement was a well thought out decision.
He said the PANDEF consulted with governors, traditional rulers and all stakeholders in the region, and they all agreed that restructuring is the way forward, hence, the reason they adopted a candidate who will go through with the restructuring of Nigeria.