***Says Osinbajo, Obasanjo, Prof Abdullahi, Gen Nwachukwu Expected At Symposium In Abuja
By Chibuzo Ukaibe, Abuja.
As former commissioner of Information, and elder statesman Chief Edwin Clarke, marks his 90th birthday on May 24, former minister of Police Affairs, Broderick Bozimo yesterday declared that Nigeria needs more people like him who can speak truth to power.
Bozimo, who is chairman of Clarke birthday ceremony, also disclosed that the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former president Olusegun Obasanjo and other elder statesmen are expected to grace the occasion which will hold in Abuja.
Speaking with journalists over programs for the birthday celebration, the former ministers said the high point of the celebration will 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, 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.
Bozimo who described Clarke is a great Nigeria from South-south region of Ijaw extraction, said “Clarke looks people in the eye and says what he wants to say. Nigeria needs more EK Clarke. If we don’t tell ourselves the truth we will rot and die. We need more of EK Clarke who will tell us the truth.”
He added “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 haven’t factored Obasanjo into the equation, you are probably unrealistic.”
He further underscored 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 (Clarke) has been in a struggle on this issue all his life.”
The former minister however disagreed that the recent 2014 confab report has been abandoned.
“I do think it is true that the report is gathering dust. In any case, you are aware that some delegates gathered recently over the report. As Nigerians we need to appreciate that it is time for the report to be revisited.
“It doesn’t matter what part of the country it comes from, the subject matter needs to be look at this material time.