Abuja: Leader of the Pan Niger-Delta Forum, PANDEF, Edwin Clark, has branded former President, Olusegun Obasanjo as a liar for saying Nigeria does not need to be restructured.
The former President had recently called for the integration of Nigeria, stressing that restructuring the country is needless.
But, Clark condemned Obasanjo’s stance on restructuring saying the former President knows the truth and should say it.
Clark lashed out at the former President, saying he always wants to impose “his will and authority on Nigeria.”
He said contrary to Obasanjo’s remark, there is urgent need to restructure Nigeria.
According to Clark, “If he (Obasanjo) does not believe in restructuring, what were the national conference or political conference and national reform conference, which we all attended for?
“I was the leader of the Southern delegation even though we walked out, what was if for, was it only for his third term or concern for restructuring of Nigeria? That is a question Obasanjo should be asked to answer.
“The truth is that he (Obasanjo) is a leader who wants to impose his will and authority on Nigeria.
“There is need for restructuring, there is need to go back to the kind of government we had before and after independence until the soldiers struck.
“What we are saying is that we want the former one where there was devolution of power, where every region had its own constitution even the Midwest region was created based on the demand for restructuring. Then, every region was independent in whatever they did. No one held the other down, which was why western Nigeria government did things that other government did not do and others were not envious of it because everybody had his own government.
“At present, Nigeria is running a unitary government, a situation where every state first goes to the Federal Government for money. That is not federalism. So Obasanjo is not saaying the truth, he knows what to say, but he is not saying it. He is saying there is nothing wrong with the structure of the country, which is not true.
“We want restructuring to correct the defects in the current structure of the country. For instance, Kano has 47 local governments but contributes nothing to the revenue of the country, while Bayelsa, which contributes a lot has only eight local governments.
“I think these are anomalies that should be corrected.
“There should be devolution of powers to the states if the states are going to be the federating units. Obasanjo is wrong to say that there is nothing wrong with the structure of the country, everything is wrong with the structure of the country.
“We believe that the minorities in Nigeria, especially in the north, should have a sense of belonging by creating states for them. Like the Southern Kaduna, the people need a state with headquarters in Kafanchan, which is why we need restructuring.
“We also believe that in every state, governorship should rotate from one senatorial zone to the other to give every section of the state a sense of oneness and participation so that in a state like Kogi, where only the Igalas until recently or Benue, where only Tivs have been producing governors can be checked.
“These were part of the things we discussed at the 2014 national conference, that governorship should be zoned, it is part of restructuring and the conference discussed everything from Obasanjo’s 2005 report, Abacha’s conference, Babaginda’s conference, all the reports were brought before us and the conference deliberated on them.”