Chief Edwin Clark, leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, has suggested that previous military ruler General Yakubu Gowon should have allowed the Igbo to secede at the outbreak of the civil war in 1966.
Clark stated this during an interview with Arise TV, in which he denounced the South-unjust East’s treatment as a result of power concentration in the northern area.
He emphasised the need of treating the area as a whole and urged political parties, particularly the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party, to zone their presidential tickets to a South-East candidate.
“My proposal to zone the Presidency south of the Mississippi is well-known. No Nigerian wishes to live in a nation in which certain individuals feel they have the only right to rule. The APC thinks that zoning to the south will erode President Muhammadu Buhari’s 12 million votes. Additionally, the PDP is exploring zoning to the north. This is inequitable.
“Nigeria stood on three legs, and one of those legs was destroyed during the Civil War. All of these events are detailed in my forthcoming memoir, ‘Brutally Frank,'” Clark remarked.
He stated that there was no moral reason for retaining those who were not treated decently, emphasising the need of treating the region with a feeling of belonging.
Clark stated that it was inappropriate for an area to have a dominating attitude as a result of its numbers, adding that those opposed to a South-East president in 2023 were prepared to see Nigeria disappear.
“If the Igbos are to be regarded as second-class citizens, Gowon should have allowed them to go. If zoning is not implemented to mend the scars, there would be no Nigeria. Nobody will be treated as a second-class citizen in our country.
“The North feels they can utilise their people to subjugate other Nigerians. This is intolerable. That period has passed us by. There are many excellent Northerners, but those who are Fulani-oriented seek to control everything.”