Clark: S’South supports Atiku because of restructuring, federalism

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Elder statesman and leader of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, Chief Edwin Clark, has given reasons for the adoption of Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the candidate of the South-South geo-political zone in the February 16 presidential elections.

Clark said that the former Vice President was the only presidential candidate who showed the most convincing commitment to the restructuring of Nigeria and the restoration of fiscal federalism in the country. The explanation came at the weekend when a delegation of the South-South People’s Forum, Abuja visited Clark at his Asokoro residence in Abuja.

The delegation, which comprised personalities drawn from the six states of the zone, was led by a former Inspector-General of Police, Chief Mike Okiro, who is the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Forum. They were on a visit to condole Clark over the loss of his son as well as consult him on the forthcoming general elections. Addressing the delegation, Clark urged them to remember the strategic interest of the South-South as they cast their votes in Saturday’s elections because the choice they make could make or mar the future of the oil-rich region. According to him, the Niger Delta, which is the treasure base of the Nigerian economy had suffered neglect, marginalization and exploitation for many years. He lamented that the situation had become worse under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in terms of a deliberate policy of subjugation and emasculation of the people.

Clark argued that only a restructuring of the federation could address the challenges of the Niger Delta people. He said that at 91 years of age, he was not afraid to speak out on the plight of his people and demand that their citizenship rights be respected in their own country. “At my age, I am not afraid to speak against the injustice being done to our people.

Like I always say, when you are 70 years and above, you are at the departure lounge waiting for your boarding pass. So why should I be afraid? I am almost 92 and I believe God is keeping me for a purpose. I think the restructuring of Nigeria is what I have left. “Without restructuring, we are slaves in our country. Our salvation is in restructuring this country.

President Buhari says if we do not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria and I also say that if we do not restructure this country, this country will not survive. I think we should all wake up because without restructuring, the South-South will die a natural death. “So for this election, we have said that if you want to restructure this country, you are our man. But if you don’t want restructuring, you are not our man, no matter the position you may occupy in the country. This was why we adopted Atiku Abubakar as our candidate because he has assured us he will restructure this country when he gets there,” he said.

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