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Published On: Thu, Jul 25th, 2013

Amaechi: Clark’s Group Takes on Soyinka, Four Governors

(L-R) Rotimi Amaechi and Prof. Wole Soyinka
LAGOS JULY 25TH (URHOBOTODAY)-The Southsouth elders and stakeholders, a group led by one time federal commissioner and Ijaw leader Chief Edwin Clark, yesterday condemned Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi for his role in the House of Assembly fracas.
The group also lambasted the four Northern governors who visited Amaechi in solidarity.
Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka was also not spared condemnation for dragging First Lady Dame patience Jonathan into the crisis. Clark claimed that Soyinka kept quiet during the House of Assembly crisis in Ogun and Oyo states.

Clark, who spoke at a news conference, accused Amaechi whom he claimed was his political son, of mischief.
He said the Rivers governor isn being backed by people who want to destabilise the country.
He said: “It is our position that Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi shall not continue the charade of blaming President Jonathan and his wife over the internal crisis in his state.
“He should reflect on his memorable journey thus far and learn to be humble before God. As aptly admonished by Orji Uzor Kalu, former Governor of Abia State and Yinka Odumakin, the Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, party loyalty demands that members, no matter how highly placed, must respect and honour directives from the party leadership.
“No party leader, including those presently manipulating Amaechi, can tolerate the high level insubordination and disrespect he has continually flaunted. We therefore advise Governor Amaechi to resign honourably from his party for continuing to wage his war of acrimony against the leadership of the party. Failing that, we call on the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to take the stringent measures to expel him to bring sanity to the party and to serve as deterrent to other renegade members.”
The Clark group asked the northern governors that visited Amaechi what they did when the PDP crisis in Adamawa State became so intractable and at the height of Boko Haram killings in the Northeast.
The group expressed surprise on the statement credited to Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako that they will bury the PDP.
“How else would Governor Nyako reportedly boast that they will bury the PDP if not through undemocratic means? We make bold to say that their unholy romance with Amaechi and non-democratic forces over the crisis in Rivers State, which they have continually blown out of proportion, is an ominous threat to this democratic dispensation.”
On Soyinka’s attacks on the First Lady, the group accused the writer of mute indifference and cold complicity when the Ogun Assembly was enmeshed in a crisis, where lawmakers brutalized one another and when former Oyo State Governor Rashidi Ladoja was impeached by minority members in the Oyo State House of Assembly.
“As democrats, we believe that power belongs to the people who are the custodians of sovereignty. Therefore, the emergence or otherwise of President Jonathan as president in 2015 should he decide to contest, shall be the responsibility of Nigerians. It is not for a group of people to decide the fate of President Jonathan, no matter their unholy alliance and gang-up. Our concern is premised on the fact these same governors have been vociferous in their agitation for power-shift to the North at all cost.
Clark said the intention of north’s governors who visited Amaechi was suspicious, given the fact that they did not begin their consultations with “doyens of democracy”, such as President Shehu Shagari but decided to embrace “former military dictators and supplanters of governments make their purpose and intention suspicious”.
“We therefore wish to caution that Nigerians, particularly those in authority, should guard their utterances and actions to avoid over-heating the polity.
“The Southsouth will hold any such persons wholly responsible, should their over-heating vituperations serve as a conductor to derail our hard-won democracy, particularly at this time when a son of the Southsouth is privileged by the blessings of God and Nigerians to provide leadership.”
The Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi expressed regret that elders, who should mediate in the political crisis, are “clearly” taking sides.
Amaechi also declared that external persons were involved in the political crisis in the state, without mentioning their names.
He described the statements by Clark; and Okupe, as very unfortunate.
Amaechi, who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), last night, spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, David Iyofor.
The Rivers governor said: “It is very unfortunate that elders, who should mediate in the political crisis in Rivers state, are clearly taking sides.
“How can Dr. Doyin Okupe describe the political crisis in Rivers state as a local issue, in spite of the intervention of the Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, governors across Nigeria and civil rights activists, among other eminent personalities?”
Source: Nation

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