Edwin Clark to Tinubu: Only restructuring will stop barbaric attacks, killings


Edwin Clark, convener of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), says restructuring Nigeria is the only way to end killings in the country.


On Christmas Eve, over 115 persons were confirmed dead in attacks by gunmen on communities in Bokkos and Barkin-Ladi LGAs of the state.


Reacting to the incident in an open letter to President Bola Tinubu on Sunday, Clark described the attacks as “senseless” and “barbaric”.


“I respectfully advise your excellency to take decisive action in order to bring the perpetrators of these heinous acts to justice,” Clark said.


 “As suggested by others, it would be beneficial to set up a powerful commission of inquiry consisting of responsible patriotic and loyal citizens, including senior retired officers of the armed forces.


“This commission should conduct a thorough investigation into the killings of innocent citizens and the destruction of properties particularly in Plateau state.


“It is also important to uncover any involvement of the army in this tragic incident. The findings of the commission should be handled with precision, and the recommendations should be implemented without hesitation.


 “There should be no sacred cows in dealing with the sponsors and perpetrators of these acts. It is crucial to take decisive actions and hold them accountable for their actions.”


The elder statesman added that restructuring the country would solve insecurity better.


“It is wrong for anyone to describe the situation in Plateau state as a battle or war between two communities or inter-communal war,” he said.


“Rather, it is a one-sided attack on innocent indigenes of the plateau communities, aimed at seizing their land. This has been happening for the past two decades, with armed Fulani herdsmen deliberately targeting and displacing the people.


 “It is disheartening that the federal government has not taken decisive action to address this genocide in a country where the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is being ignored and violated, leaving Nigerian citizens to abandon their homes for the invaders to occupy their land and seek refuge in camps.”


Clark alleged that some politicians known to the government are also responsible for sponsoring dangerous herdsmen.


“This is one of the main reasons why many Nigerians are calling for the restructuring of the country, allowing people in different states to live freely and develop their regions or state without intimidation or oppression from any quarter,” he said.


“Currently, we are not practising a true federal system where people can freely move and exercise their rights to freedom of speech and association. We need a federation where all citizens are equal and there is mutual respect for one another.


“In this federation, each state or region should be able to develop at its own pace, utilizing the resources available within their boundaries without any hindrance as it was in the first republic which was confirmed in the 1963 republican constitution.


“Mr President you have always been the principal advocate of restructuring, even before you became senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the governor of Lagos state.


 “During your time, you passionately advocated for a sovereign national conference, which was even more inclusive than the current restructuring we are demanding for Nigeria. Undoubtedly, this pursuit of restructuring will be one of your most enduring legacies when you leave office.

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