When Niger Delta elder statesman Edwin Clark called for the expulsion of Abia, Imo, and Ondo States from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the highest Igbo socio-cultural group, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, lambasted him.
Clark’s viewpoint, according to Ohanaeze, is nothing short of parochial savagery, diabolical, and harmful to national cohesiveness and togetherness.
In a letter to President Bola Tinubu, the elder statesman recommended that the NDDC’s establishing legislation from 2000 be changed so as to exclude Abia, Imo, and Ondo States from membership.
Abia, Imo, and Ondo States’ membership in NDDC has been called a “political aberration” by the head of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF).
In response, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, the factional Secretary-General of Ohanaeze, asked Tinubu to ignore and dismiss Clark’s toxic “vituperation into the dustbin of history.”
Clark, he said, is propagating racial intolerance, which “has no place in our diverse and multicultural society.”
Isiguzoro stated in a statement, “Instead of engaging in divisive rhetoric and exclusionary tactics, Ohanaeze Ndigbo expected Chief Edwin Clark to advocate for the gazettement of former President Buhari’s recognition of the Old Anambra River Basins as oil-producing states.” The states of Anambra, Enugu, and Kogi are now officially recognized and can join the NDDC. Chief Clark’s flagrant disrespect for fairness and equity in neglecting this crucial point is evident.
“Further, Ohanaeze Ndigbo firmly condemns Chief Clark’s remarks, especially in light of the economic sufferings created by the reduction of gasoline subsidies. As a representative of the Niger Delta region, we find his remarks very disappointing and unacceptable. Chief Clark and others in leadership positions should not plant seeds of divisiveness by promoting ethnic intolerance in American discourse.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo asks President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to reject Chief Clark’s discriminatory position and rise above his divisive remarks. For the sake of equity, we urge President Tinubu to include the Old Anambra River Basins in the NDDC. In addition to righting past wrongs, this move would also foster national cohesion, progress, and togetherness on behalf of the Igbo people.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo still wants to see a unified, prosperous Nigeria where people of all backgrounds are treated fairly. We shall keep striving for a future marked by peace, mutual understanding, and common prosperity for all areas.