Group lambast Edwin Clerk over comment on proposed Kano Naval Base

A group, under the aegis of Northern Compatriots in Southern Nigeria (NOCOMSON), has lambasted Chief Edwin Clerk, over a comment credited to him that he criticized the proposed Naval Base in Kano state.

The group, after its extraordinary meeting, held in Kano on Thursday, alleged that the elderstates man mocked President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief of Naval Staff over the proposed project.

In a statement released after the meeting, NOCOMSON described the purported comments by the elderstates man as divisive.

The statement, which was signed by Musbahu Saleh, Regional Coordinator, South South NOCOMSON, said that Nigerians have the right to air their opinions on serious national issues of such magnitude that may lead to nation-building, we however condemn in strongest terms Edwin Clark’s divisive comment.

According to the group, “Such privilege should not be abused and turned into a forum for hate speech or inciting comments”.

“Even at that, NOCOMSON will not allow regional jingoists, who hide behind the cloak of statesmanship, to do our only nation, Nigeria, a fatal blow through unguarded utterances.

“Our attention has been drawn to a divisive comments attributed to Chief Edwin Clerk after the Nigerian Naval Board approved a Naval Base in Kano.

“In an open letter on Monday, September 20, Chief Edwin Clerk openly attacked President Muahammadu Buhari and the Chief of Naval Staff; and mocked the people of Kano State.

The statement continued “part of our submission is that Clerk is unacquainted with the requisites of Naval Bases, how they are being operated in advanced countries in the world or he is not aware that the Navy had approved the establishment of Naval Bases in some other states besides Kano.

“But Clerk singled out Kano State for his scathing attack, which we believe is yet another failed attempt at distracting the Navy from its concerted effort to keep Nigeria “as one indivisible nation” and to sabotage the Buhari Administration’s efforts in containing the insecurity ravaging the country at various fronts.

“While urging the Federal Government to remain focused, we commend the Navy highest authority for this timely response to augment its operation; we urge Nigerians to listen to ‘voice of reason’ and disregard such divisive comments as they will not augur well for the country,”

Based on this, the group urged Nigerians not give a breathing space to opportunists like Clark whose only stock-in- trade is to capitalize on the nation’s travail for material gains.

“It is instructive to note that, even the Chief of Naval Staff, through the Chief of Training and Operations of the Navy, Rear Admiral Abraham Adaji, had explained to all the critics, particularly Chief Clark, the reasons behind the establishment of the Base in Kano, the group added.

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