By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—AS former Federal Commissioner of Information and South- South leader, Chief Edwin Clark, marks his 90th birthday on May 24, Nigerians from all walks of life will converge on Abuja to discuss the burning issue of restructuring of the country based on true federalism to enable the regions take control of resources for faster and better development.
The discourse would be part of activities in honour of the elder statesman, a strong advocate of restructuring, true federalism, resource control and a better Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, is expected to lead other eminent personalities to honour Chief Clark.
Also to attend the event lined up in honour of the elder statesman is former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan, other former Presidents and Heads of State, among other leaders, politicians, business icons and academia.
Briefing journalists yesterday, Chairman, Planning Committee for the birthday celebration, former Minister of Police Affairs, Alaowei Broderick Bozimo, declared that Nigeria needed more individuals like chief Clark who could authorities the truth.
Bozimo explained that the high point of the celebration would be a symposium with the theme: “Restructuring, True Federalism and Resource Control: Panacea For Enduring and Sustainable Development in Nigeria.”
According to him, former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Arch. Victor Attah, is the keynote speaker, former minister of foreign affairs, Gen Ike Nwachukwu, would chair the session panel comprising former chief executive of Nigeria Economic Summit Group, NESG, Prof Anyo O Anya; Northern Elders Forum, NEF, Prof Ango Abdullahi; President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo Dr John Nnia Nwodo; former Nigerian Ambassador to Brazil Patrick Dele Cole; and human rights activists, Mr Yinka Odumakin.
Bozimo who described Clark as a great Nigerian from South-south region of Ijaw extraction, said “Clark looks people in the eye and says what he wants to say. Nigeria needs more E.K Clark. If we don’t tell ourselves the truth we will rot and die. We need more of EK Clark who will tell us the truth. The future belongs to the young ones and we as older ones need to work with you. So there is need for Information, dialogue and rubbing minds together and highlighting those values that makes the man great.”
While he revealed that Acting President Yemi Osinbajo was scheduled to attend, he added “former President Olusegun Obasanjo is my boss and I am hoping he will honour us with his presence. If you want to do anything and you have not factored Obasanjo into the equation, you are probably unrealistic.”
He contended that the resource control and restructuring was chosen for the symposium because “it is the subject matter that is relevant and prevalent in Nigeria and he (Clark) has been in a struggle on this issue all his life. It not easy to attain the age of 90. So, I think that this committee, the objective is to try to do a grand event for the grand old man. That is the reason this committee is in place. We also know that it is important for people to get information. And we they get the information, the word spreads and people will begin to understand the great man we are honouring.”