Leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, Chief Edwin Clark, has said former military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, should have allowed Igbo to secede at the start of the civil war in 1966.
Clark said this during an interview on Arise TV, where he condemned unfair treatment meted to the South East through concentration of power in the northern region.
He stressed the need for the region to be treated with a sense of belonging and called for political parties, especially the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to zone their presidential tickets to the South East.
He said: “My idea of zoning the presidency to the South East is well known. No Nigerian will like to live in a country where certain people believe they have the only right to lead. The APC believes the 12 million votes by President Muhammadu Buhari might be eroded, if it is zoned to the South. The PDP is also considering zoning to the North. This is unfair.
“Nigeria stood on three legs, and it has never been steady since one of the legs was destroyed during the Civil War. I unpacked all these facts in my forthcoming memoir, Brutally Frank.”
He said there was no moral justification for keeping people who are not being treated fairly, stressing that the region must be accorded sense of belonging. Clark said it was unacceptable for a region to have a domineering spirit because of its population, adding that those opposed to a South East presidency in 2023 are ready to see the end of Nigeria.
He said: “Gowon should have allowed the Igbo to go, if they are to be treated as second-class citizens. If zoning, which will heal the wounds, is not done, there will be no Nigeria. Nobody will remain in this country as a second-class citizen.
“The North believes their population can be used to oppress other Nigerians. This is not acceptable. The era of that has gone. There are many good Northerners but the Fulani-oriented ones want to dominate everywhere.”