By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—Elder statesman and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chieftain, Amb Yahaya Kwande, yesterday took a swipe at the Senate President, Senator David Mark, saying he had no political clout to deliver the Middle Belt votes to incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan in next year’s presidential election.
Kwande, who was reacting to the resolution of some political leaders from the North-Central zone adopting President Jonathan for the 2011 presidential poll, advised President Jonathan not to fall for the antics of Senator Mark.
He said Senator Mark was laying claims to political clout he never had in the Middle Belt.
Kwande also singled out former National Chairman of PDP, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, and Mark as notorious advocates of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s failed third term agenda and could not, therefore, now claim to speak on issues that fundamentally bordered on the political choices of the people of the Middle Belt.
Kwande, who chided the so-called resolution of the leaders of the North-central geopolitical zone advising certain presidential aspirants to drop their ambition, pointedly told President Jonathan that the Senate President did not have the political influence to deliver any zone to him.
The former diplomat in a statement yesterday, described leaders of the zone who met in Mark’s house as a “coterie of influence peddlers”, adding, that the Middle Belt cannot speak with one voice in a moment of political crisis, let alone single out one leader capable of dictating the thinking and minds of the entire North-central zone.
Describing the meeting of the so-called Middle Belt leaders as a “coalition of pseudo-political heavyweights,” Kwande told the Senate President that he lacks the power to dictate to the zone who should aspire for president or not.
Recalling David Mark’s infamous role in scuttling democracy in the country following the unjust annulment of the June 12, 1993 election presumed to have been won by late Chief MKO Abiola, Kwande wondered whether Mark has any moral authority to speak on democracy, despite having benefited ironically from a system he once actively helped to undermine.
Given the discordant voices from the Middle Belt over President Jonathan’s ambition, the Jos based politician advised the Senate President to desist from parading a political clout he does not have in an ever-sophisticated Middle Belt region where no leader can boast of being the infallible voice of the people.