… says Atiku has been opposed to Jonathan since 2010
By Henry Umoru, ABUJA
FORMER Federal Commissioner for Information and South-South leader, Chief Edwin Clark, on Tuesday, gave an insight into why former President Goodluck Jonathan stopped attending meetings of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
According to Clark, former President Jonathan is angry with his party because of what party members, led by the former National Chairman and past Governor of Bauchi State, Adamu Muazu, did to him when he wanted to be re-elected in 2015.
Clark noted that PDP leaders from the North worked against Jonathan because, according to them, it was the turn of the North to produce the President.
He stressed that many of the PDP governors from the North mobilised funds for the then candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari, against their own flag bearer.
The elder statesman and leader of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, noted that Jonathan had learnt his lesson, which explained why he stopped attending meetings of PDP especially the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the party.
He spoke at his Asokoro residence in Abuja, when he played host to the Delta Central APC Leaders of Thought, DECALT, led by its National Leader, Chief Ominimini Obiuwevbi.
The leader of Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, SMBLF, lamented that the same northern governors in the PDP, who had rejected zoning, were now talking about competence and integrity in 2022.
He accused the party of what he described as manipulation leading to the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as its presidential candidate for the 2023 election.
Clark said: “Now coming home politically, Jonathan was the President for some time as the result of the death of President Yar’Adua. Jonathan ruled for about five years, he is a Christian and the northerners said it was their turn.
“From 2011, they have been worrying Jonathan. Even in 2015, the northern PDP leaders ganged up with APC, Tinubu and removed Jonathan from office. They did not campaign, Jonathan was on his own.
“So, when people say why Jonathan is not in PDP, not attending PDP meetings, I can safely say that he’s learning his lesson that the people he trusted did not trust him.
“They squandered the party’s money and left.
“So, when people say why is Jonathan not in PDP, he knows how they betrayed him: how the northern PDP governors contributed money towards Buhari’s success, how members of government betrayed him.
“The national Chairman of PDP at the time was Governor (Adamu) Mu’azu. He did not go to his hometown to campaign, he was only following Jonathan about.
“He knew what he was doing. Everyone of them wanted Buhari to win. So, Buhari won. He has ruled for eight years.
“Now, the same northerners are now saying competence, no zoning, integrity.
“It fell for the prey, they maneuvered PDP with Alhaji Abubakar who has been wanting to be president of Nigeria over the years, championing the cause of division. So, the PDP, a party we love, PDP a party of southern Nigeria, disappointed us.
“In 2019, 11 million people voted for Atiku Abubakar (PDP). Five million from the North, five million from the South. Now he doesn’t think that we ever did anything for him.
“So, Nigeria has change. If anyone tells you that all is well in Nigeria that person living in a fool’s paradise.
“I’m happy to note that you are members of the ruling party that is APC and I will give you a message to Mr. President, who is the leader of your party.
“But we are in the minority, but in every society the minority and the majority must live together. We have never seen a community where you have only the majority. If that’s the case amongst them some will become minority.
“We are the largest ethnic nationality in Delta State, but within you some people are dominating. Because we are alive, we don’t need this society where people are not equal.
“That’s what Mandela fought for that everybody is equal. People should live in a country where you grow up to do anything God created you do.”
Clark recalled that when governors of the southern states insisted on zoning the presidency to the South, the SMBLF immediately keyed into it.
However, he regretted, despite agreement for southerners not to accept the running mate position to any Northern presidential candidate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has been picked as the vice presidential candidate by the PDP even though he hosted one of the governors meeting in Asaba.
According to the South-South leader, the APC he thought the people of the South-South should have no business with, became the party that listened to the yearnings of the region over zoning and the need for the South to produce the next President come 2023.
Clark who noted that he would have voted for the ruling APC, but for his age and its decision to fly a Muslim-Muslim Presidential ticket,
He said: “Several times we met here and before the PDP had their primary, we met here again and repeated the same thing.
“We didn’t know that our own Governor, who initiated this meeting, if you agreed for a meeting to be held in your house and you backed out thereafter; you have betrayed your colleagues. Isn’t it?
“So, that’s why one of my cousins called Okowa miscreant.”