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Published On: Wed, Jan 30th, 2013

No One can Stop Jonathan in 2015, Except Electorate – Edwin Clark …Says performance has nothing to do with it

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President Goodluck Jonathan’s kinsman and Ijaw ethnic leader, Chief Edwin Clarke has warned that there is no stopping Mr Jonathan from contesting the 2015 election irrespective of his level of performance in the office which he would have occupied for six years by the next
election.

Clarke who spoke in Enugu where the Southern Nigeria Peoples Assembly led by himself, former Vice President Alex Ekwueme and retired Anglican Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi held a meeting. The Ijaw ethnic leader specifically warned the North not bother attempting to stop Jonathan as such will be resisted. The communique of the meeting put together to champion Jonathan’s political agenda also called for the convocation of a sovereign national conference to restructure the country.
In his words, Clarke said; “If he (Jonathan) wants to rule for eight years and Nigeria doesn’t want him because he did not perform, leave it for the people of Nigeria to decide; not one individual; not a group of people no matter where they come from. My personal view is
that this country belongs to all of us. In 1979 we all belonged to NPN; Shagari was not a better member than myself. We all gathered together at the cinema hall in Yaba where it was agreed that Shagari should be the presidential candidate. He took his second term, I also became a senator.
“But Buhari for reasons best known to them staged a coup and drove everybody away; who took over from another northerner. Babangida said you’ve had enough and took over; Abacha took over from Babangida. MKO Abiola was driven away and not allowed to rule for even one day.
Obasanjo came and he ruled for eight years; Yar’Adua was going to rule for eight years; why would Jonathan not be allowed to rule for eight years.
“They have no right; the constitution is very clear on two term of four years each for a president; all what he did before was that the president died and he stepped in and that cannot be counted as though he has contested election. We are meeting because we believed that putting everything together in the South we have not performed very well due to our disunity. When the 19 northern States are meeting we the 17 in the South will not be meeting. When the 19 governors in the North are meeting our 17 governors will never meet. Its never too late lets also meet.”
Those at the meeting include Edwin Clarke, Dr Alex Ekwueme, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, Gani Adams, Tony Graham Douglas, Dr. Sam Egwu, Ambassador Frank Ogbuewu, Dr. Dozie Ikedife, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Mike Okiro, Sylvanus Ngene, James Sekibo,
Anthony Oguguo, Walter Ofonagoro, Senator A. Wabara, Ebitu Ukiwe, Chief Olu Falae among a host of others.
A communique issued at the end of the meeting and signed by Ekwueme, Clarke and Gbonigi said it is imperative that a “National Conference that would afford genuine platform for Nigerians to dialogue should be convoked to permit the emergence of a truly peoples constitution”, in addition to correcting “the present national structural imbalance which has foisted inequity, marginalization and giving undue advantage to the north.” Other demands of the meeting include: “That to bring parity between the north and south there should be created two additional states one of which must come from the South East.
” That Local Governments in Nigeria should be autonomous in terms of management, funding and governance. That whereas the endemic corruption, greed and their cancerous virus should make every Nigerian a combatant, it is the primary responsibility of Government to muster the COURAGE AND WILL to decisively fight the scourge of corruption in the country.
“That we commend the efforts of the present administration in the areas of providing Nigerians with improved transport infrastructure as witnessed in the rehabilitation of rail transportation, the on-going efforts of Julius Berger/RCC on the Lagos – Ibadan road, the improved state of the Benin – Ore road and the Enugu – Port Harcourt road as well as Onitsha – Enugu road.
“However, we decry the very deplorable state of other major arterial roads of economic importance such as the East – West road. That our quest for true federalism which encompasses fiscal federalism can only become meaningful if people, as practiced in advanced democracies and economies, are allowed to exploit the benefits of resources in their domain.”

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