A foremost Ijaw leader and convener of Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, Chief Edwin Clark, has outlined areas Igbos are being marginalized by the current administration.
The elder statesman also called for the arrest and detention of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, for declaring there will be no election in Anambra state.
Clark pointed out that before the All Progressives Congress, APC’s administration, the Igbos have enjoyed and served in key positions in Nigeria.
He said Kanu and his followers must be told the truth before they throw the nation into choas, adding that this group of people did not witness the civil war.
Clark said, “I think Nigeria is one country, we cannot break up. My advice to those beating the drum of secession is to take it easy. The war of 1967 to 1970 claimed so many lives and property, made some Nigerians to almost become second class citizens in their own country.
“These boys who are going around, and led by Nnamdi Kanu, some of them were not born at that time, and if they were born, they were very little children. I agree that President Buhari’s government has marginalized them.
“Okay. What of former President Jonathan’s government? I think the Igbo played a leading role in former President Jonathan’s government; they had every chance, every opportunity to develop their area. But some of them were selfish. The secretary to the government was an Igbo man.
“At a time, the Chief of Army Staff was an Igbo man; the Igbo occupied very important positions in former President Jonathan’s government, so they couldn’t have said they were marginalized. Rather it was the Yoruba who were crying that they were being marginalized. And towards the end of Jonathan’s government, he decided to give them so many posts because we all belong to one country called Nigeria.
“So these boys should be told the history of Nigeria from independence to let them know that the Igbo were not marginalized in the past, especially in the First Republic and, in fact, their kinsman, Ironsi, was Head of State.
“Rather we the minorities have always cried of marginalization and not the three major ethnic groups, until 1966 when the coup of the young majors changed the face of Nigeria and the Igbo suffered in the war that followed, but the era is gone.
“And they won’t say that during Shagari’s time in the Second Republic the Igbo suffered because an Igbo man, Dr Alex Ekwueme, was the vice president. If the Igbo are marginalized, they are being marginalized by the present administration and I am one of those who support them in their cries against marginalisation, but secession is not the answer.
“There is nowhere that youths will take over the administration of a place and it is very irresponsible for Kanu to say there will be no election in Anambra State in November. He should be arrested and detained. There is a limit to their agitation and I am happy that the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo has condemned them.
“And those agitating for secession do not know the implications. Kanu and his group are saying they have drawn a map which runs from Benue to the South-South, including Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta, that will not happen.
“They should know the implications of what they are looking for, they should be educated and government should change and see that the Igbo are not marginalized. The Igbo produce oil in Abia and Imo states, and for you to establish the NNPC Board of nine members and the Igbo are excluded, it is unfair. And to make matters worse, six northerners whose area doesn’t produce oil are in the board? Two, why should an Igbo man not be in the Council of State?
“Why should an Igbo man not be a senior security officer? Even if they are not in the army, they must be somewhere. These are good cases that they have. In the appointments of persons into federal parastatals and others, why should the Igbo not be there? I think these are some of the things people are kicking against and we all support them.”