South-South Leader, Chief Edwin Clark, has slammed Kaduna State governor, Nasir el- Rufa’i for referring to former Heads of State, Gen Yakubu Gowon and Ibrahim Babangida as opportunists. According to him, it was insulting to Nigerians for people like el Rufa’i to pretend not to know the meaning of restructuring, a word etched in its constitution.
Clark told Vanguard that Gowon and IBB were old enough to father el Rufa’i, whom he insulted for fighting for what was good for the nation.
He said: “They are playing the role of politicians that people hardly trust, that is the role APC is playing. Why will they not know the meaning of restructuring when they deliberately put it in their manifesto before the last election?
“If they are not able to do it now, they should tell Nigerians that they no longer believe in it, but to go the extent of setting up a committee under the governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasiru el-Rufa’i, who does not believe in restructuring, who insulted eminent Nigerians, branding them opportunists for speaking their minds on restructuring, is unflattering.
“Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, spoke his mind on restructuring. What does he want in Nigeria? Can somebody say Gowon is an opportunist, somebody who ruled this country for nine years and is living a very simple life? What does he want? He is now in his 80s.
“The same thing about former Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida. What does he want from anybody? He spoke his mind, he said this country needs restructuring, devolution of power. He spelt them out, he did not just say restructuring, he knew what he was saying and even if he never believed in it before, now that he believes in it, he has come out with it.
“Same with the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. He has been a champion of restructuring, has been saying it, holding lectures on it and never faltered. Everything Atiku is talking about restructuring is what we recommended at the 2014 National Conference.
“All Atiku is saying is that we want to reorganize the structure of this country because of the future, the economy of this country and to move Nigeria forward.
“So why should a young man as el-Rufa’i say that those talking about restructuring are opportunists? He is very rude; Gen Gowon could be his father. For anybody in this country to say that he does not understand what restructuring means is an insult to Nigeria and those who believe in it.
“I can understand why el-Rufa’i is insulting people because he has his grouse with the former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Abubakar. But the young man should learn a lesson: that you are governor of a state is not all in all.”