Elder statesman and Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, has said that Nigeria would remain united in spite of her many challenges.
He stated this at a mass held to mark his 94th birthday anniversary in Abuja on Tuesday.
Some Igbos are calling for a Biafra Republic, while some Yorubas are canvassing for Oduduwa Republic, citing marginalisation and misgovernance.
Clark, who said that he was against secession, decried the unwanted killings across the country.
“You asked me whether I support secession, the break up of Nigeria. I said if I’m to secede, where do I go to? Who owns this country more than myself? We either succeed or fail together.
“Nigeria will remain one country. My only regret is the number of killings happening in Nigeria every day.
“No personal regret, but my only regret in life is the position of Nigeria.
“There was healthy competition in the past among our leaders. We played politics without fear or favour, without any rancour, but now, it is a different thing.
“I’m appealing to everybody, let’s have one Nigeria; a united Nigeria where everybody is equal. A united Nigeria where everybody has a right to aspire to whatever position he wants to aspire to.
“A united Nigeria where religion does not determine what it should be and where ethnicity does not determine what it should be,” Clark said.
Meanwhile, Venerable Festus Nwafili of the Anglican Church, Asokoro, who officiated the mass, urged the celebrant, as a leader, to maintain his truthful disposition.
“God’s expectation of you is to promote His righteous course by your words and actions. You owe the nation to speak the truth on the challenges bedeviling it,” Nwafili said.
Also speaking, Senator Seriake Dickson (PDP-Bayelsa), described Clark as an Ijaw foremost leader.
“He is our father and we are very happy with the leadership he has given to our people.
“We are happy with his service to Nigeria. You know, he has been everything, Commissioner of Education in old Midwest, he built all the schools.
“As a matter of fact, the school I attended in Torebeni, Bayelsa, was built by him.
“And then, he became a federal commissioner for information, became a senator, became several things.
“He has been our foremost advocate, not just for the Ijaw nation, not just of the Niger Delta and the South-South, but for most, an advocate for a fair, just and equitable Nigeria.
“So, that’s what he has come to symbolise, and we are very happy with it,” said Dickson.