Edwin Clark knocks Buhari over alleged nepotism, neglect of Niger Delta
Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, yesterday, took on outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari over alleged nepotism and neglect of the Niger Delta region.
In what he tagged ‘a farewell address to President Buhari’, the elder statesman accused him of leaving the nation, especially the Niger Delta region, worse than he met it.
Speaking in Abuja, he said Buhari failed, having treated the Niger Delta with ignominy.
He said the outgoing President bequeathed a bouquet of unfulfilled promises, a divided nation, and left myriads of critical federal infrastructural projects in shameful conditions, especially, roads in the Niger Delta.
He said these were in addition to insecurity in most parts of the country, perpetrated by killer herders, Boko Haram, Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), bandits, kidnappers and sundry criminals.
According to him, the situation has become so bad that a vast majority of citizens, particularly youths, are gripped by fear and desperation, resulting in the ‘Japa syndrome’, which has seen many fleeing the country.
He also pointed out how the Buhari government humiliated him. He recalled: “Sometime ago, at midnight, three busloads of security officers came to accuse me of stockpiling ammunition, and they searched my house. It took them two hours to search. At the end, they found nothing.”
He said the South-South geopolitical zone has been treated very unfairly by the outgoing administration, despite the region’s contributions to the national economy.
He said: “For reasons unknown to me, there have also been series of unwarranted and unjust actions against people of South-South extraction, even with regards to top appointments in the federal public service, in the last seven years.
“That brings to mind, the way and manner the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, was harassed and humiliated out of office, to the extent that the office of Chief Justice of Nigeria was denigrated.
“The situation in the Petroleum industry is even more appalling, where the discrimination and seeming snobbery have been elevated to unreasonable heights.
“It appears all strategic positions in the NNPC and its subsidiaries are reserved for people from the Northern zones of the country, while the peripheral positions are for people from the South-South.
“The situation, whereby the Niger Delta Region continues to suffer marginalisation and isolation in critical sectors of the country, especially in the oil and gas sector, should be unacceptable to all fair-minded humanity.
“While our resources are being managed mainly by people from other parts of the country, the people of the oil-producing communities of the Niger Delta, who bear the brunt of the degradation arising from the oil and gas exploratory activities, receive mere soupçons and are rendered spectators of the oil business.”