Clark to Tinubu: Don’t marginalise Igbo like Buhari

Clark to Tinubu: Don’t marginalise Igbo like Buhari

The leader of the Ijaw Nation, Chief Edwin Clark, has called on President Bola Tinubu not to toe the path of his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, who “did everything to subjugate the Igbo for reasons best known to him.”

Clark, in a letter to Tinubu, a copy of which he made available to the press on Thursday, said Buhari excluded the South-East from major appointments during his administration.

 

According to the elder statesman, the South-East was also unfairly treated in the allocation of funds during Buhari’s regime.

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Clark expressed concern that Tinubu had also allegedly started to show the same trait and called on him to retrace his steps.

 

He said the discrimination from the past administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari against Igbos has not abated under Tinubu’s government.

He noted that while Tinubu appointed 10 ministers from the Southwest, only six had been appointed from the Southeast, adding that there was no justification for the omission.

Clark stated this in a letter addressed to President Tinubu.

 

The letter reads partly: “President Buhari did everything to subjugate the Igbo for reason best known to him. Perhaps it may be necessary to cite some examples. The NNPC board, which he constituted when he came into office, had nine members, one from the South-West, one from the South-South, and no member from the South-East, even though three South-East states – Abia, Anambra and Imo – are oil-producing states. The remaining members, including his Chief of Staff, came from the North, a non-oil-producing region.

“However, he later tried to amend it when he appointed Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as Chairman of the second board; and he later replaced him with Margery Chuba-Okadigbo before he took office. He (Sen Ifeanyi Ararume) took the matter to court and won but the situation has not changed.

 

“Also, when President Buhari attempted to obtain loans from foreign financial institutions, which exceeded 30% of the GDP, which was not in the interest of the country; and the loan of $22.7bn, of which less than 1% of the amount was to be allocated to the South-East zone while other zones were allocated higher percentage for infrastructural projects.

“That was a violation of the constitutional requirement to ensure a balanced economic development of Nigeria in accordance with President Buhari’s Oath of Office.

“In President Buhari’s 17-man security chiefs, 14 of them came from the North and only three from the South, excluding the Igbo from the South-East.”

 

According to Clark, under Tinubu’s government, the “discrimination and injustice” against the Igbos has not abated.

Clark wrote: “Mr President, even in your administration, the discrimination and injustice against the Igbo has not abated. The old Eastern Region and the old Western Region, to which I belonged, were equal competitors and partners before and during the First and Second Republic but today, you have appointed 10 Yorubas as ministers from the South-West, and only five ministers from the South-East, and you even failed to give them the ministerial appointment due to their region that would have made it six ministers. There is no justification for this grave omission and no effort has been made to correct it.”

 

Clark called on Tinubu to immediately embark on the restructuring of the country and to implement 600 recommendations of the 2014 National Conference Report.

He said, “Now that the elections are over, we must face the restructuring of this country. I repeat the immediate restructuring of Nigeria must be carried out if this country is to remain one, and I appeal to Mr President to take immediate action to implement the historic 2014 National Conference Report which submitted 600 recommendations to the Presidency on how to restructure Nigeria in every aspect of our lives.

 

The Niger Delta elder charged Igbos of “Southeast or wherever they are in Nigeria,” to stand up and “assert their rights legitimately, judiciously and in a democratic way, to benefit like any other Nigerian as it was before the civil war of 1967.”

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