By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- AHEAD of 2015 Presidential election, former Federal Commissioner for Information and Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark yesterday led other South South leaders, Elders, Chiefs to declare that other parts of the country must wait after the incumbent as 2015 for Jonathan was not negotiable.
Meanwhile, Chief Clark yesterday renewed his attack on former President Olusegun Obasanjo, saying the former President, described as one of the richest men in Nigeria today was only having N20, 000 in his account when he was released from Yola prison to contest the 1999 general elections, adding that the former Chairman, Board of Trustees, BoT was pretending to be innocent today.
To actualize the move of President Jonathan’s re- election bid, the South-south leaders, elders and chiefs yesterday mandated its Board of Trustee (BoT) headed by former Inspector General of Police (IGP), and Chairman, Police Service Commision, Mike Okiro to as a matter of urgency put in place, the process of mobilising support for President Jonathan as well as synergise with the executive committee of the South-community.
Speaking yesterday at Osun Hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja at the 2014 induction/inauguration of BoT of the South-south elders, chiefs and leaders,
put together by the coordinator of the group and Chairman planning committee, Chief Bello Premier, the South South leader, Chief Edwin Clark declared that he saw no reason why the North should not support Jonathan for two terms if the South-south could support Shehu Shagari, who was removed by Muhammadu Buhari in a coup for two term.
Clark, who is the grand patron of South-south group who reiterated that no community in Nigeria was superior to the other, said that Abuja, which was developed by the South-south money does not belong to anybody, adding, “I think one of the problems facing us in this country is the issue of settler and indigene. In this country nobody is superior to the other. Abuja does not belong to anybody, it belong to all of us.
The money used to develop Abuja came from South-south. Because we are Nigeria we accepted. Nobody owns it more than the other. Anybody is entitled to contest for any election in Abuja. Nobody owns this place.
“The problem with the militants started in 1998. Somebody invited the South-south youths to Abuja and they saw bridges built on land whereas in their waters there are no bridges. They went back and started the militancy.
“Don’t exclude us from the scheme things, Nigeria belong to all of us, don’t practice double standard. In 1983 we voted enmass Shagari and he stayed for eight years, it was Buhari who removed him. In 1999 they said because of what they did to Abiola, they said they should compensate the South-west and Obasanjo was brought out from Yola prison and he was only having N20,000 in his account and today he is one of the richest man in Nigeria. And today he is claiming to be innocent.
“We cannot continue to feed this country and we are not ruling the country. When Obasanjo wanted Yar’Adua to become the President he blackmail everybody.
“How many of the Northerners came to me to say that Jonathan should step down and allow the North to finish their four year term and I told them you are not well. People thought that we from South-south are second class citizens and we say no. When we reply critics, they say we are enemies of Jonathan.”
Earlier in his remarks, the coordinator of the group and Chairman planning committee, Chief Bello Premier, called for the integration of South-south community in Abuja into the mainstream of social political dynamics of the Federal Capital Territory to accord it appropriate recognition as is the case of other regional group.
Speaking on the issue of security, former Assitant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Felix Oguado, called on the Northern elders to copy from South-south elders on how they were able to convince the militants in the Niger Delta to drop their arms, adding, “If the elders in the Niger Delta can go to the creek and speak to the militant and they drop their arms, why can’t the elders of the North do same. We should stop blaming the government and do something. It is not the best to apportion blame on the government each time something happened. People talk of sharing the cake, but they never talk of how the cake is baked.
“Our foremost challenge now is Boko Haram. Nigeria is difficult country to govern. No matter who rule there will always be criticism. Like the President said you cannot dialogue with faceless people. The militant were brought to Abuja and they met with President Yar’Adua.”
He however appealed to those who kidnapped President Jonathan foster’s father to release him.