A former minister of information, Edwin Clark, has revealed why a South-south group endorsed Atiku Abubakar for president.
The group, the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), endorsed the candidate of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in preparation for the forthcoming presidential election.
The general election is expected to hold on February 16.
While speaking on Channels TV, Sunday Politics, Mr Clark said they settled for Mr Abubakar because he is the only candidate that believes in restructuring Nigeria.
He said the region had been marginalized for long and as such, necessitated the forum’s agreement to support a man with ‘restructuring’ mantra.
“We in the Niger Delta produce the resources that feed this country, but we are not participants. We are neglected, dehumanised, marginalised.”
“Instead of moving forward, we are moving backward. Buhari said he does not believe in restructuring.
“The NNPC is the engine room of the oil industry. Nine directors were appointed into NNPC board. Six of these members are from the North, including the Chief of Staff. On what basis?” he asked.
Mr Clark said Mr Abubakar’s endorsement scrutinised after the forum consulted with governors, traditional rulers and all stakeholders in the region, and “they all agreed that restructuring is the way forward”.
Mr Abubakar is the major contender against Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Restructuring, in Nigeria’s context, is granting more powers to the states, with the federal government releasing part of its grip on the states and allowing them run their affairs, to a large extent.