Edwin Clarke Writes Northern Govs to Forget Pact, Says Jonathan Is PDP’s Sole Candidate For 2015
Ijaw leader and President Goodluck Jonathan’s kinsman, Chief Edwin Clark today wrote a letter to Northern governors in which he urged them to forget about any agreement reached with them by Mr Jonathan on a single tenure term of office, declaring that the ruling PDP has already imposed Jonathan as the party’s sole presidential candidate for the 2015 election.
Clark in a letter addressed to the Governor of Niger State who doubles as Chairman of Northern States Governors Forum, Dr. Babangida Aliyu dated 12th March, 2013 the president can no longer keep to the agreement since the Northern states had breached it during the 2011 presidential elections by voting for the presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), General Muhammadu Buhari.
He warned that people of the south-south region will not fold their arms and allow a section of the country intimidate President Jonathan over the 2015 elections.
Belwo is an excerpt of the letter:
“I wonder what makes the issue of President Jonathan contesting the 2015 presidency a mere speculation, according to you. The 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides for two tenure of four years each after two democratically conducted elections. Apart from the illegality of the purported agreement with the northern states governors, such a mindset violates the letter and spirit of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
“There is no speculation that the PDP is planning to impose President Jonathan as the sole candidate of the party in the upcoming convention. The practice in democratic presidential system of government is that an incumbent president remains the sole candidate of a political party at the party’s convention, if he or she is willing to contest for a second term in office. This is the practice in the United States of America from where Nigeria copied her own model of presidential system of Government.
“My dear Governor, you may wish to find out whether any candidate in the Democratic Party in the United States of America contested the Primaries with President Bill Clinton when he decided to stand for a second tenure. Again find out whether any Republican Party faithful contested the Presidential Primaries with George W. Bush when he desired for a second tenure and recently whether any Democratic Party member contested with President Barrack Obama when he offered for a second tenure in 2012.
“Similarly, when the American type of Presidential system was adopted in Nigeria in 1978/1979, former President Shehu Shagari was the sole candidate of the National Party of Nigeria [NPN] when he chose to run for a second tenure in the 1983 presidential election. Or do you think there was dearth of qualified candidates in that era? Note that in the words of Dr. K.O. Mbadiwe, “the NPN had many men of timber and caliber who were ready to contest the Presidential Primaries if Alhaji Shehu Shagari had not indicated his intention to contest.
“The list is endless. In 2003, it was only through the instigation of some Governors led by Chief James Onanefe Ibori who were disappointed that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar stepped down for his boss, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo that Dr. Alex Ekwueme was persuaded to contest the presidential primaries against the party’s decision. However, he was defeated by President Obasanjo who had the party’s blessings. Many Nigerians will recall the reverberating rendition of “Obasabjo, Obasanjo, Obasanjo…, E-k-w-u-e-m-e” from Chief Tom Ikimi’s voice at the Eagle Square during the vote counting at the primaries.”
While describing as utter nonsense, claims by some Northern leaders that Jonathan had already run two terms, Clark said: “In other words, the late President Yar’ Adua was entitled to eight years in office but Dr. Jonathan is entitled to only a single term contrary to the 1999 constitution. Is that not double standard? What a shame!
“We can no longer tolerate this. Our centenary celebration is based on the equality of all citizens and we must be tolerant of ourselves now more than ever before. In all civilized democracies where the majority and minority ethnic groups exist, it has never been the prerogative of the majority ethnic group to lord it over the minorities. For instance, in Great Britain from whom we got our Independence, there are the English, the Welsh and the Scottish. The English are the majority, followed by the Scottish and then the Welsh. Each of these ethnic groups has produced the Prime Minister of Great Britain based on the quality of the candidate. In fact, in recent times the Scottish has come to produce more Prime Ministers than the English who are the majority.
“As a people we must remain united and be patient to wait for our turn and not to harass and intimidate an incumbent president to abandon his constitutional right to seek a second term in office as provided for in the 1999 constitution, just because he is from the minority. Enough is enough my dear governor.
“For the umpteenth time, it must be emphasized that Nigeria belongs to all Nigerians as enshrined in the nation’s constitution. All Nigerian citizens are equal and can all aspire to the highest office in this country and should remain in office in accordance with the constitution.”
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