Clark Seeks Reintegration of Igbos into Nigeria’s Mainstream Politics

*As PANDEF faults Arase’s sack as PSC chairman

Sunday Aborisade in Abuja

Elder statesman and foremost Ijaw national leader, Chief Edwin Clark, has advocated reintegration of the Igbo into the mainstream politics in Nigeria and also reiterated his call for the unconditional release of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

Clark stated this in an open letter to President Bola Tinubu, the second in one month, which was made available to journalists in Abuja on Sunday, saying that doing so would halt the insecurity and economic challenges currently facing the South East geopolitical zone.

In another development, the Pan Niger Delta Forum, (PANDEF), the apex socio-cultural body of the Niger Delta people, has raised concerns over the removal of Dr. Solomon Arase from his position as chairman of the Police Service Commission, (PSC)

The group in a statement by its National Chairman, Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, on Sunday, described Arase’s sacking as an act of injustice.

Clark said: “I have never supported the activities of IPOB under the leadership of Nnamdi Kanu, but today, Nigeria, a broken country where many groups and nativities have cried foul to the way Nigeria had been going since 1999 because of the military constitution imposed on Nigerians by the military.

“Today, our economy is failing, our democracy is failing, our education and health institutions are collapsing, the youths are jobless and some people are treated as second class citizens while a few enjoy the fruit of the so-called democracy we are passing through.

“If we allow the violence and insecurity in the South-East to continue, the consequences will be very unpleasant to all Nigerians.

“It was because of this, that I called on President Muhammadu Buhari to accept the Court of Appeal Judgement on Nnamdi Kanu.

“Apart from demanding for the restructuring of Nigeria, the political freedom of Nnamdi Kanu will no doubt complete the reconciliation of Nigeria and bring an end to the needless Monday sit-at-home order, which has disturbed businesses and civil activities in the South-East.

“The short-changing of the Igbos of the South-East over the years is the reason why IPOB has fashioned a place for itself in the hearts and minds of the young people in the southeast with its demand for self-determination.

“I have physically seen these IPOB boys in action, at the Ekwueme Square in Awka, Anambra State, when I attended a meeting of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum there.

“It is indeed a movement of youths who are justifiably angry with the way and manner the affairs of the country are being conducted and particularly the marginalization of the Igbos but are misguided.  

“None of these youths witnessed the civil war and are, definitely, not abreast with the history of the war and its full ramifications.

“I advise, therefore, that rather than the use of military force which has already proved counter-productive, they should be carefully treated with the “carrot and stick approach”, in the interest of the peace, stability and progress of Nigeria as a whole and the South East zone in particular.”

On its part, the statement by PANDEF on ex-IGP Arase’s sack read: “We express profound disappointment, and denounce the unjust manner in which Dr. Solomon Arase, a former Inspector General of Police, was relieved of his duties as chairman of the Police Service Commission by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Monday, 10th June 2024.

“PANDEF views Arase’s removal as unwarranted and an unnecessary provocation that reflects negatively on Tinubu’s administration, indicating a lack of regard for the nation’s laws that Mr. President swore to uphold and protect.

“This singular act further portrays this administration as one that does not prioritize competence, integrity, and efficiency; sacrificing merit on the altar of favoritism.

“The question arises as to why any serious government would dismiss a personality like Solomon Arase, who had initiated positive reforms and improvements at the commission, and given his meritorious track record as a diligent police officer, who rose through the ranks to become the 18th Inspector General of Police of the Nigeria Police Force, and retired with dignity.

“Solomon Arase, a former Inspector General and a native of Edo State in the South-South region of Nigeria, was appointed as the Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC) in January 2023 by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Solomon Arase’s tenure as Chairman of the Police Service Commission lasted only about 16 months of the four-year term.”
PANDEF argued that Section 3, subsection (1)a of the Police Service Commission Act 2002, subject to the provisions of Section 4 of the Act, states that a member of the commission, other than ex-officio members, shall each hold office for a term of four years and no more.

The group added that the Act also details the conditions for removal from office in Sections 4.

PANDEF said Arase could only be removed if he became bankrupt, suspends payment or compounds with his creditors or if he is convicted of a felony or any offence involving dishonesty of fraud.

It added that he can be sacked if he becomes of unsound mind, or is incapable of carrying out his duties or if he is guilty of serious misconduct in relation to his duties, among others.

“The pivotal question remains, what warranted Solomon Arase’s removal from office by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu? ” PANDEF queried.

The group therefore urged Tinubu to tell Nigerians, and the world, at large, the reason or reasons for Arase’s removal.

“We stand against injustice, oppression, and likewise, misconduct,” it stated.

Related Articles