BY SUNNY A. DAVID

The arrowhead of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) Chief Edwin Clark, has warned Nigerian political players that unless the Presidency is zoned to the country’s South-East region in the 2023 Presidency, Nigeria may cease to exist.Chief Clark who said this while speaking during an interview on Arise TV on Tuesday insisted that the next Nigerian President must be from the South-East extraction. According to him, Southerners are treated as second-class citizens in the country, noting there may be no Nigeria without zoning in 2023.The Chairman of PANDEF said there was a monopoly of leadership by the North. His words, “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 that 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.”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.”He also commented on the 1966 civil war, stressing that General Yakubu Gowon should have allowed Igbo to leave the Nigerian union.Chief Clark stated that former Military Head of State, General Gowon, should have allowed the Igbo to secede at the outset of the civil war in 1966.The Chairman of PANDEF said he condemned the unfair treatment handed to the South-East by concentrating 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 and the Peoples Democratic Party, to zone their presidential tickets to a candidate from the South-East.“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 that 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’,” Clark stated. He added that there was no moral justification for keeping people who are not being treated fairly, stressing that the region must be treated with a sense of belonging.Chief Clark noted that 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 were ready to see the end of Nigeria. “Gowon should have allowed the Igbos to go if they are to be treated as second[1]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.”

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