Democracy Day: Clark Demands Release Of Nnamdi Kanu, Seeks End To Marginalisation Of Igbo

Date: 14-06-2024 9:15 am (1 month ago) | Author: onuigbo felicia
- at 14-06-2024 09:15 AM (1 month ago)
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A former Minister of Information and leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Chief Edwin Clark, has called on President Bola Tinubu to order the release of the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and dismantle all state policies and instruments of marginalisation of the Igbo ethnic group in Nigeria.

Clark, who made the demand in an open letter dated June 13 and addressed to the President, stated that whereas the Nigerian Civil War (1967- 1970) ended 54 years ago on the basis of “No Victor, No Vanquished”, the Igbo ethnic stock who fought on the side of Biafra were still being marginalised, oppressed and discriminated against by the Nigerian state.

In the letter, a copy of which was obtained, Clark argued that the continued detention of Kanu after other persons with similar cases had been set free by the government amounted to an injustice and an indication that the Igbo ethnic group was yet to be fully accepted and reintegrated into Nigeria more than five decades after the civil war.

The elder statement lamented that while Kanu languished in detention on allegations of setting up the Eastern Security Network (ESN) to defend the South East from marauding herdsmen, the President of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Alhaji Abdullahi Bello Bodejo, who allegedly set up a militia group in furtherance of the murderous activities of cattle herders has been set free.

According to Clark, Nigeria has remained divided because some Nigerian citizens are being treated as second class citizens because they fought in the civil war.

He said that other nations like the United States of America that fought a similar war had reconciled their differences, learnt lessons from the experience and moved on together as one people.

“The Americans fought a ferocious civil war from 12th April, 1861-26th May, 1865, a period of four years. The war-torn nation entered the reconstruction era in an attempt to rebuild the country; bring the former Confederate states back into the United States.

“This was exactly what General Yakubu Gowon was doing when he talked of reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation; but his overthrow in 1975 ended the reconstruction that would have brought the Eastern Region fully into Nigeria. Since 1975, the country has not been united and it will be unpatriotic and disloyal for one to pretend that all is well in the country,”
he said.

Clark attributed the insecurity currently plaguing the Southeast region on the high level of uncertainty and discontentment among the young people regarding their fate in their country. He, however, blamed the situation partly on some Igbo leaders whom he accused of having “accepted the present situation in which they found themselves as second-class citizens”

in their own country. He alleged that the marginalisation of the South East in terms of political appointments and commanding positions in security formations which were prevalent during President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration have not abated under Tinubu’s watch, stressing that this must change for peace to reign in the polity.

“I am 97 and when I reflect on the Nigeria I knew against the current goings-on, I worry for our young people of today and tomorrow. What hopes do they have in Nigeria’s future and what is their future in today’s Nigeria? I am talking of the 14, 15, 16 and 17 year olds, in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory,” he said.

The nonagenarian charged Tinubu to embark on the immediate restructuring of Nigeria by implementing the recommendations of the historic 2014 National Conference Report which dealt extensively with the issue of marginalisation and how the nation can entrench fairness, equity and justice for the benefit of all.

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