Chief Edwin Clark, former Federal Commissioner for Information and South South leader, Thursday raised alarm over the level of corruption in the country and the economic crunch which have all combined to stagnate the progress of Nigeria over the years.
He warned that if President Muhammadu Buhari fails to deal severely with those who ruined Nigeria over the years, Nigeria as a country would sink.
In a six-page letter to President Buhari, which was read to journalists Thursday at his Asokoro residence, Abuja, Chief Clark urged him to, as a matter of urgency, appoint a new chairman for the Amnesty Programme as a replacement for the immediate-past chairman of the programme, Chief Kingsley Kuku, adding that he would be a sad man if the Amnesty programme fails.
According to the elder statesman, the President should know what it means to Nigeria as a country to have peace in the Niger Delta, just as he stressed that quick appointment of a new chairman even in acting capacity would help to stop the imminent disintegration of the programme that has kept the peace in the Niger Delta.
The Ijaw leader said that the vacuum already created following the absence of Kuku’s successor was creating tension and if not managed immediately, it would lead to that era when the activities of the militants in the creeks contributed to crude oil supply fall to about 7,000 barrel per day, compared to the present situation of 2.5 million barrels per day, adding that the problem with the programme at the moment, was lack of an authority to operate the account of the programme.
According to him, “The economy of the country and the eradication of corruption which has become systemic and endemic that has stagnated the progress of this country over the years and the culprit, if not severely dealt with, will sink the country. We, therefore, pray the Almighty God that these discussions will materialise and achieve the desired result.
“Secondly, I now respectfully wish to bring to the attention of Mr. President the imminent danger facing the Amnesty programme. It would be recalled, that the former chairman of Amnesty programme and Adviser to Mr. President on Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Kingsley Kuku has since vacated his office as a result of change of government. But unfortunately, he has not been replaced by an appointee even in acting capacity by Mr. President; as a result, the whole programme for now, is without leadership, and no one has the authority to operate the account of the Amnesty programme.”