Bozimo: Restructuring, Resource Control to Dominate at E K Clarke’s 90th Birthday National Discourse

  • 2014 Confab report receiving attention

Senator Iroegbu in Abuja

The 90th birthday celebration of former Minister of Information and elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, will be highlighted with a national discourse on issues of restructuring of Nigeria, fiscal federalism and resource control.

This was disclosed wednesday in Abuja by the former Minister of Police Affairs and Chairman, Clarke 90th birthday organising committee, Mr. Broderick Bozimo, who briefed journalists on the activities lined up for the special event.

Bozimo said 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’, with the acting President Yemi Osinbajo, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and other dignitaries  expected to grace the event.

He stated that the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Victor Attah, will be the keynote speaker, while the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gen. Ike Nwachukwu (rtd), will 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.

According to him, the chosen topics are timely because the issues are the hallmark of Clark’s legacy for a better Nigeria.

He stressed that the aim is to organise a worthy event befitting of the elder statesman’s status as well as celebrating his values and ideals.

Bozimo said: “It is obvious that the subject matter is relevant and prevalent in Nigeria today. It is virtually crucial. You know, Clark has been on the vanguard of that struggle virtually all his life.

“Therefore, I think it is befitting and appropriate that when you celebrate his 90 years on earth, that subject will feature and it will be for me the spirit that will move this celebration.

“It’s not easy to attain the age of 90. So, I think that this committee’s objective is to try to give 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 people will begin to understand the great man we are honouring.”

He described Clark as “a great Nigerian from South-south region of Ijaw extraction,” and that Nigeria needs more people like him, who speaks truth to power.

“As you know, whatever you say of Clark, he is one man who will look you in the eye and tell you what he feels. And he says it from time to time, ‘I am on departure lounge. I can say whatever I want to say to you because I am just waiting to take flight to heaven.’ He keeps saying it!

“And a man like that, courageous and incisive and truly committed to the good of this country, is a true Nigerian. He just happens to come from the Southsouth, and so, we need to celebrate him.

“Most importantly, I think that this country needs more of Clark of this world. If we do not challenge ourselves, if we do not tell ourselves the truth fearlessly, we will just rot away. So, we need more and more or the Chief Clarks who a fearless and can tell you what they feel. That is why we celebrate him.”

Speaking on the fate of  2014 Confab report, which contains most of the issues being canvassed by Clark, Bozimo disagreed with the insinuation that the report has been abandoned and gathering dust.

“I don’t agree with you entirely that the report is still gathering dust. It may have been lying there but I know as at today, the dust is beginning to lift from the activities we’ve seen.

“Barely a week ago or so, you remember those who participated in the conference met and they are now looking at it, drawing the attention of government afresh to those decisions that were taken,” he said.