Ijaw leader Edwin Clark says he is against the major regions in the country going their separate, insisting that Nigerians should succeed or fail together.
He stated this at a mass held to mark his 94th birthday in Abuja on Tuesday.
Mr Clark, who said he was against secession, decried the wanton killings across the country.
“You asked me whether I support secession, the break-up of Nigeria,” noted the nonagenarian. “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.”
He admitted that things were better in the past, pointing out that “there was a healthy competition” among “our leaders.”
Mr Clark added, “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.”
Also speaking at the occasion, ex-Governor Seriake Dickson said of Mr Clark, “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.
“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.”