Elder Statesman, Dr. Edwin Clark, has disclosed that except the country is restructured immediately, it will be difficult to keep Nigeria together in the next 10 years.
Chief Clark made this known in an exclusive interview on The Osasu Show, hosted by Osasu Igbinedion, which aired on AIT and TOS TV Network, today (Friday) at 9am.
In the series episode tagged: ‘the Nigeria we are Vs the Nigeria we want to be’, the Elder Statesman said: “10 years from now, although that is quite a long time, judging from the last four years and then the next four years of this administration, we are not going anywhere. Because any government’s duty is to secure and seek for the welfare of the people; if the people are not safe, are not well provided for, killings everywhere, it is difficult to forecast the future.”
Asked how effective Nigeria was when we had Constitutions per region, Clark said: “Very effective”, “with the two regions existing at that time, you would find that Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who was the premier of the Western Nigeria, was able to develop all the roads in the West.
“So, all am saying is that, at that time, Ahmadu Bello was able to build a Stadium in Kaduna, developed industrial centers in Kano, developed the capital city of Kaduna, but today, the oil which is in the Mid-West, the Niger Delta, is been exploited by other people, if you go to the refinery in Warri, you would look at the people, you will think the refinery is in Zaria, because everybody is a Northerner.
“We are not saying we do not belong to one country, but for our people who are in a difficult terrain, we are saying give us this gold to take care of ourselves, but today, nobody cares for us.
“For instance, on the 1st of November last year, I led a delegation of 100 Traditional Rulers from the Niger Delta, to see Mr. President, in Aso Rock, we submitted 16 programmes, including the relocation of operation of the Headquarters of the oil industry, to where oil is produced. We have a situation whereby the oil companies pay their taxes to Lagos, which is their Headquarters, their workers pay their taxes to Lagos State Government; one of the companies has an estate in Lagos, without those companies, there will be no Lekki.
“Recall, the President appointed 9 Directors to head the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the engine house of the oil industry; could you imagine that out of the 9, 6 of them came from the North, including the Chief of Staff.
“One came from the South-West, one came from the South-South, which produces about 80 percent of the oil that is produced in this country, and one from the South-East, which produces oil too, you can imagine the inequitable way of distributing positions.
“The other day, 15 senior managerial positions where appointed for the NNPC, 10 of them from the North, 3 from the South-West, 2 from the South-South, where the oil is produced.
“This is the country we want to remain together, yet some people are more favoured than the other.
“So in another 10 years!!!, I do not think… that is why I said, without restructuring, it will be difficult to keep Nigeria in the next 10 years”, Clark said.