Published On: Tue, Aug 27th, 2013

Only Constitution Can Stop Jonathan –Edwin Clark

Chief Edwin Clark

LAGOS AUGUST 27TH (URHOBOTODAY)-A former federal commissioner for information, Chief Edwin Clark, has said that it is only the constitution that can stop President Goodluck Jonathan from contesting the 2015 presidential election.
He noted that the purported agreement between the president and some governors on the platform of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) does not hold water.
The Ijaw leader explained that since the constitution made provision for two terms, every other agreement on number of terms for the president is illegal.
Clark blamed the ongoing noise about the president second term bid on some few politicians who he accused of overheating the polity for their personal ambitions.
He spoke on Tuesday when he received a delegation of Second Republic federal legislatures at his Asokoro House, Abuja.
He said, “So Nigeria is great, only few people want to confuse this country because of their personal ambitions.
“Today is Mr. President’s turn, tomorrow it will be another man’s turn. That is why we have the constitution. The constitution says that before you can be qualified to be a president of this country, you must have contested through elections and after the first term of four years, you can contest again for a second term of another four years. Thereafter, you will not be eligible again, that is the law.
“The law does not state that you remain in office for one term, you can enter into agreement with some individuals that after your one term, someone else will come in, that will be illegal. Such an agreement will be null and void, unconstitutional; nobody can change the constitution of Nigeria that is the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Even though people are saying that it is imperfect, it is perfect until it is changed or amended. I think under section 137, Mr. President is entitle to two terms of eight years and as a former member you recognize that in your time Alhaji Shehu Shagari, the president during the Second Republic of Nigeria was elected president of this country in 1979 and he remained in office until 1983 when we sat down again at the convention and re- elected him.
“You were all there and that was the time all of you left but that was the time some of us were elected as senators but for the military intervention. Some of them here said it is time for military to rule so they over threw our government in December 1983.
“We woke up and they said we are no longer in office otherwise Alhaji Shagari should have remained in office until the end of his second term. Then, Obasanjo was elected the president of this country in 1999. In 2003, he re- contested in accordance with the provision of the Nigerian Constitution for another four years even though his deputy was trying to over throw him, he couldn’t succeed because of the constitution.
“Nigeria said come back again for another four years. It was when he wanted to go beyond what the constitution provided that Nigerians said enough is enough.”
Source: Nation

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