By Emeka Mamah and Henry Umoru, Abuja
FORMER Federal Commissioner for Information and Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark yesterday, described those expected to gather in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State for the Uyo Political Summit political summit as saboteurs and enemies of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Eminent Nigerians including scholars, statesmen and top politicians will converge on Uyo, for the event slated to hold between July 1 and 4, 2013.
The joint organisers of the summit aimed at finding the way forward for the country are the Citizen Advocacy Group and Project Nigeria.
Those expected at the summit include former Vice President, Alex Ekwueme, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule, Professor Ben Nwabueze, Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, General T.Y. Danjuma, Chief Edwin Clark, Chief Emeka Anyaoku and Chief Ayo Adebanjo among others.
Others expected at the summit are: Amayanabo Alfred Diete- Spiff, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, Chief Solomon Lar, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Ambassador Christopher Kolade; the Arewa Consultative Forum Chairman, Alhaji Aliko Mohammed; Mallam Adamu Ciroma, Chief Olu Falae and Alabo Graham Douglas.
Others are: the Action Congress of Nigeria National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande; General Alani Akinriade, Professor Pat Utomi, the Afenifere Leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti; Chief Audu Ogbeh, Bishop Emmanuel Gbonigi, Sheik Ahmed Lemu, Senator David Dafinone, Alhaji Ishiaku Rabiu and Gen Jeremiah Useni.
Also, Senator Ken Nnamani, Chief John Nwodo, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, Bishop Mathew Kukah, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, the Peoples Democratic National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur; Professor Itse Sagay, Olisa Agbakoba, SAN; former Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Gambo Jimeta; the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, President, Comrade Abduwaheed Omar and Comrade Peter Esele, immediate past president of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, are among those being expected at the parley.
According to the Head of Communications of the summit’s secretariat, Malam Naseer Kura, the event was being convened to douse the tension created by the heated political activities in the country, which have created a tendency towards an emergency situation. It said President Goodluck Jonathan and former heads of state are also expected to grace the occasion.
“President Goodluck Jonathan, all former Presidents/Heads of State and their deputies and high-powered Federal and state government delegations; the leadership of the National Assembly, state governors and ministers are expected to participate actively at the summit,’’ which was specifically expected to work out an enduring modality for political and constitutional stability of the country in the light of the current heated political activities and inherent insecurity in some parts of the country.
The organisers added that key religious leaders and select traditional rulers from the six geopolitical zones were invited to make interventions at the summit on the way forward for the nation.
Furthermore, the programme was said to have been targeted at bringing leaders from all the six geopolitical and other stakeholders from other interest groups and business elite to parley on the future of the country.
However, Chief Clark took a swipe at another elder statesman, Chief Ben Nwabueze, for allegedly inviting President Jonathan to the meeting to announce that he would not contest in 2015.
The statement entitled ‘Count me out of Uyo Political Summit,’ reads: ‘’My attention has been drawn to the publication, in the media of Monday , June (24), 2013, captioned Maitama Sule, Soyinka, Anyaoku, Clark, to lead “ Political Summit. I wish to use this medium to inform the general public that I have no idea, whatsoever, about the proposed political summit said to be organised by Citizen Advocacy Group and Project Nigeria in Uyo, Akwa- Ibom State, on July, 2 an 3, 2013.
‘’I want to state, categorically, that I cannot be party to any discussion with any group in whose imagination there is “growing instability in the country. For example, the unreasonable and unconstitutional call by Professor Ben Nwabueze, on behalf of The Patriots published in on June, 2013, demanding that, ‘the President must immediately affirm to the nation that he will not be again a candidate for the office of president and that he will end his service to the nation as president, with the help of God, in May 2015.’
‘’It is not surprising that Prof. Nwabueze in his write-up preferred to extol the military dictatorship of Mustapha Kamal Attaturk in Turkey, rather than a democratic example elsewhere, considering the Professor’s unrepentant services, as Secretary of Education, under the military regime of General Sani Abacha.
It must not be seen that people who are camouflaging their political ideas and ambition with intellectualism are encouraged.
How can I sit with such unpatriotic saboteurs of the democratic process; I, who strongly believe and a well known advocate of the indisputable fact that the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, has performed, and is still performing admirably and creditably well in restoring and consolidating political, economic and social stability in the country?
‘’I strongly believe that the so called summit is being put together and will be attended by the advocates and supporters of those who see nothing, and will see nothing good in the administration of President Jonathan; in spite of glaring evidence of the numerous achievements so far recorded.
‘’I, therefore, dissociate myself from the impression created by the publication that I am one of the leaders of the purported political summit. I have nothing to do with it and I am sure that those of like minds as myself; who believe in the good work being done by President Jonathan, will not attend it. God bless Nigeria!’’