Edwin Clark, Ijaw national leader, has told President Olusegun Obasanjo to keep quiet over his condemnation of the calls for restructuring.
Clark said the ex-president knows in his heart that Nigeria’s structure is flawed but has refused to say the truth.
He made this known on Friday while reacting to Obasanjo’s criticism of the clamour for restructuring.
“The ex-president knows the truth and should say it. If he does not believe in restructuring, was it (the conference) only for his third term or concern for restructuring of Nigeria? That is a question Obasanjo should be asked to answer,” he said.
While supporting the calls for restructuring, he said there is a need to go back to “the kind of government we had before and after independence until the soldiers struck”.
Clark said he is advocating for a regional structure where every region was independent in whatever they did.
“The truth is that he (Obasanjo) is a leader who wants to impose his will and authority on Nigeria,” he said.
“Let him keep quiet. Is it because we have a country where people do not know their right from left and everybody is being praised as a worthy leader?
“What we are saying is that we want the former one where there was devolution of power, where every region had its own constitution even the Midwest region was created based on the demand for restructuring.
“No one held the other down, which was why western Nigeria government did things that other government did not do and others were not envious of it because everybody had his own government.”
Clark further said the country is not running a federal system of government contrary to what people think, adding that “Nigeria is running a unitary government, a situation where every state first goes to the federal government for money. That is not federalism”.
“So Obasanjo is not saying the truth, he knows what to say, but he is not saying it. He is saying there is nothing wrong with the structure of the country, which is not true.
“We want restructuring to correct the defects in the current structure of the country. For instance, Kano has 47 local governments but contributes nothing to the revenue of the country, while Bayelsa, which contributes a lot has only eight local governments. I think these are anomalies that should be corrected.”