“Vote for only candidates that support restructuring”-Ijaw leader tells Niger Delta People

Foremost Ijaw nationalist, Chief Edwin Clark, has ask people of the Niger Delta not to vote for any politician that does not support the restructuring of the country. He said however that they must be careful not to fall for politicians who merely mouth restructuring without really meaning it.

Clark said the people must ask the presidential candidates about their manifestoes to determine whether it meets the aspirations of the Niger Delta before supporting them.

“If it says restructuring, then vote for that person,” he advised, adding: If this country is restructured, within 10 years, the pattern of life will change.

Speaking while receiving leaders of various youth councils in the region led by the President General of the Niger Delta Nationalities Youth Leaders Council, Peretubo Oweilaemi, at his Asokoro Abuja residence on Wednesday, he regretted that the Niger Delta has been marginalised in the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) even though it produces 98 per cent of the crude oil. “The thing we produce in our area feeds the whole country. Yet, we are beggars in our own country.

 

“Could you imagine a situation whereby nine directors in NNPC appointed by President Buhari, six of them are Northerners including the Chief of Staff (to the president), one from South West, one from Niger Delta with all the oil we produce in is country,” he said.

The same thing he said happened in the appointment of NNPC General Managers, which he said had 10 from the North, two from the South West, two from the South-South and none from the East. He pointed out that Imo and Abia states which also produce crude oil got no representation.

He said out the 55 Managers appointed, 36 came from the North and while the remaining were spread among the other parts of the country. “So, they control the oil, they maintain it and what do they say? ‘we are ungrateful for anything they give to us, we are troublemakers and so on,” he added.

Clark further stated: “Today, some people say oil flowed from the desert and came to our area, we don’t own it. They won it. They are now managing it. “We are saying, restructure this country. If you restructure the country, whatever is produced in your area, you manage it at your own pace,” he asserted.

The elder statesman, however, appealed to the youths to remain calm, saying that with God on their side, they will prevail. He said the country must be restructured to allow all the component parts to develop at its own pace as it was in the first republic. The one time Federal Commissioner of Education observed that there is the perception that the country as it is now is “lopsided, deliberately constituted to oppress some people,” saying that the people must continue to speak their minds.

Chief Clark, whose residence was searched by the police last Tuesday, said he decided to accept the police apology over the incident because he wanted to avert war in the Niger Delta.

 

 

He said: “So, they (police) came and apologised, they disowned those boys but I said don’t. We are no fills. Those boys have no powers to come and search my house.

“When they were here, somebody her phoned an Assistant Inspector General of Police and he answered.

“When my people went to their office, the boys did not stop on their own, they took them to their boss. So, don’t lie to me. But the apology, I have accepted it because of Nigerians. “And if I don’t, problem will take place in the Niger Delta. I hear the boys and the girls are already gathering in Port Harcourt, in Yenegoa, WARRI and so on, even up to Arogbo in Ondo state.

“I have to accept it their apology in the interest of peace and in the interest of our country. But go and make it public. And so, they did.”

 

 

He affirmed that he had written a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari demanding that the matter be investigated to fish out those who were responsible for it. Clark said instead of embarrassing him, the police only succeeded in embarrassing themselves.

In his remark, the leader of the delegation demanded that the police publicly parade the officers involved in the search of Clark’s residence, otherwise, it would be seen that the police lied. He said the people of the Niger Delta wanted to know the officers and be assured that they were not merely moved by the police to continue their service other areas.

Fuel Scarcity: NNPC warn Nigerians against panic buying, assure of adequate supply

The NNPC has assured that there is enough fuel in the country and that there is no need for panic buying of petroleum products by members of the public.This was disclosed in a statement issued by Mr Ndu Ughamadu, It’s spokesman, in Abuja, on Friday.

This, followed reports of an ultimatum issued by the NUPENG over a purported intervention by an arm of the security agencies in what the union viewed as purely labour matters involving a company and its workers in Delta State.

He added that the corporation’s Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru and his Management team, were engaging the parties involved, saying the parties are close to resolving the issues.

Ughamadu in the statement advised motorists and other consumers of petroleum products not to engage in panic buying as the NNPC Management was close to reaching an amicable resolution of the challenge. NNPC assured that the corporation had adequate storage of petroleum products across the country and advised that they should not entertain any fear of petroleum shortages.

 

Ex-Governor of Kaduna Makarfi reveals what will cure Nigeria of its woes

Former National Caretaker Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi, on Saturday identified restructuring as what will bring enduring solutions to the myriads of challenges facing the country.

Makarfi said the agitation for restructuring has assumed a recurring issue, and pledged to restructure the country to make it better and ensure rapid development if elected President in 2019.

The former Governor of Kaduna State who made this known in Abeokuta while addressing executives of the Ogun State chapter of the PDP and supporters on his 2019 Presidential ambition, said he will restructure Nigeria along three planks – political, economic and social.

He noted that restructuring is not about politics alone, but also  social and economic restructuring to  make the nation’s public institutions – Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC), Police, power sector,  efficient, responsible and accountable to the people.

According to him, this will eliminate or reduce ethnic bickering and suspicions in Nigeria.

Makarfi recalled that the restructuring of Kaduna state was a major factor that ensured the success of his administration as the then governor and engendered peace for all the residents.

“Restructuring is one of the key issues facing Nigeria now. And as a president, if nominated and elected, it’s one of the major issues that we have to face and address to make Nigeria work for everybody.

“Am I talking politics? No! It’s not because I’m looking for something that’s why I’m talking restructuring. Our leader, President Olusegun Obasanjo, in 2003, when he was thinking of the political reforms conference, he set up a technical committee to draw up the modalities and terms of reference of that conference.

“It was I that was asked to chair that. And that conference was conducted on the basis of the report I submitted. But was the term of reference comprehensive? No! But it was also not the full terms of reference we submitted to government. The full terms of reference we submitted were comprehensive enough to cover all the issues that are topical now,” Makarfi said.

On economy, Makarfi said the private sector would be encouraged to thrive and provide jobs for the teeming unemployed Nigerian youths.

According to him, his administration would evolve  special incentives for special businesses in the private sector to enable them provide jobs for the people of Nigeria.

In his remarks, House of Representatives member, Hon. Ladi Adebutu, lauded  Makarfi’s efforts “towards restoring orderliness” in the PDP, charged the presidential aspirant to work towards giving the citizens “a united Nigeria”

Adebutu, who is also a governorship aspirant in Ogun state on the platform of PDP, also hailed  Makarfi for ensuring that PDP did not go into extinction during the crisis periods which the party went through.