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Published On: Tue, Apr 2nd, 2013

Nobody can stop Jonathan in 2015 – Edwin Clark

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President Goodluck Jonathan

Former Federal Commissioner for Information under the administration of General Yakubu Gowon, Edwin Clark, has reiterated that President Goodluck Jonathan deserves to seek re-election come 2015. He noted that minority people in the country have never been given their pride of place until providence brought Jonathan to power, adding that any unity that was not on equal basis cannot augur well for the development of the country. Clark, a prominent Ijaw leader, spoke when the Ijaw communities represented by Izon-Ebe Oil Producing Communities Forum led by Moses Edougha visited him in Kiagbodo, Burutu Local Council area of Delta State. He noted that the oath of office Jonathan took after the demise of late President Umaru Yar’Adua cannot replace his right to contest the next Presidential polls as the Constitution allows him to contest two elections of four-year term each.
“The era when an Ijaw man was relegated to the background is past. President Goodluck Jonathan has only contested one election. The oath of office he took when Yar’Adua died is not superior to the provisions of Section 137 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The oath does not replace his rights to contest in 2015. He must contest again in 2015 and nobody has the right to stop Jonathan. The Constitution allows him to contest two elections. Shagari did but it was his brother who overthrew him. Obasanjo did, and had Yar’Adua not died, he would have completed his tenure.
We believe in the unity of Nigeria and that unity must be on equal basis, and not one man ruling you and you are not ruling. Whether Jonathan is performing or not, it is the duty of Nigerians to vote for him or not and not somebody saying that he has no right to contest. Nobody has the right to stop him,” he added. Clark who reacted to issues raised by leaders of the association, carpeted the Northerners who oppose the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), wondering why they and Yoruba should control the oil blocs. According to him, pipeline vandalism would continue as long as the people in the oil and gas communities were not carried along in the scheme of things. Jonathan himself spoke on Monday on his perceived 2015 Presidential ambition, saying he now avoids making long speeches so that people would not say he was campaigning for the poll. He spoke at the dedication of All Saints Anglican Church, Mpu, Enugu State, built by Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu. The President, nonetheless, assured of his commitment to ensure that the votes of Nigerians count in 2015. “You cannot talk about good governance without credible elections,” he said, stressing that he was committed to sanitising the electoral process to make votes count. Noting that leadership is transient, Jonathan said it was his prayer to leave a legacy of free and fair elections in the country. According to him, there was no need for people to fight to the extent that they want to burn the house down whether at the national, state and local government level just to get political power. Jonathan noted: “We have a Constitution that specifies how long somebody would stay in office and even if somebody wants to stay beyond that, we are all biological specimen that would one day die. We should think more of our country. No leader can do everything. We should think of some things and do them very well. You cannot do everything and succeed. Since this administration with me as President, we have always talked about free and fair elections because I have always said that you cannot talk about good governance where election is manipulated. You cannot build something on nothing. The people must vote for you. Before you think of how to run the place, you must be properly elected. We have always assured of our commitment to sanitise the electoral process and make votes count. It has paid off. Today, I know the kind of statement people make wherever we go. I know the kind of statement that people made when I was VP about the process that brought us to power. Today, things have changed,” the President said.
Nigerian Bulletin

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