LUQMAN BABALOLA, Abuja
December 5, 2014 – Ijaw National Leader and First Republic Minister of Information, Chief Edwin Clark has alleged that some members of the All Progressive Congress could do anything including poisoning or killing President Goodluck Jonathan because of their desperation to take over power in the 2015 general elections.
Clerk called on the National Chairman of APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun not to join those who want to destroy the country adding that every vote must count in next year’s election.
Several calls and text message to the National Publicity Secretary of APC, Lai Mohammed to respond to the allegation were not replied.
But a female voice who picked the phone said he was busy with the party’s governorship primaries across the states.
The elder statesman stated these on Thursday in Abuja during a conference organized by the Peoples Democratic Party Ward2Ward Initiative with the theme: “Building a legacy of sustainable democracy, peaceful co-existence and transformation of Nigeria.”
At the event, the National coordinator of the group, Shekulomaso Kamal Karka told participants that they were ready to storm the 774 local governments and 9,572 wards in the country to galvanise support for Jonathan’s re-election bid.
According to Clark, the utterances of some members of APC following the insecurity in the country shows that they were not patriotic Nigerians.
Clark commended the organisers of the event for mopping up support for the re-election bid of President Jonathan, adding that the era of election rigging or political thuggery was over.
“This (Thursday) morning, I read one of the newspapers. The national chairman of one of our political parties said that Nigeria was moving towards anarchy. I was shocked. Coming here, I want to make a statement about it. Today, you are here on your own because you believe in Nigeria. The future is here.
“I appeal to the national chairman of APC, who is my very good friend, who in those days, we regarded as super permanent secretary, not to join those who want to take office at all cost. If it is possible, they will like to kill Jonathan, they will like to poison him provided they will get into office. Is that the Nigeria that you want?
“So, Nigerians, let me say this to you, that today, I am 87 and by May next year, I will be 88; but I do believe and I have a slogan that when you are 70 and above, you are in the departure lounge waiting for your boarding pass. But if you are above that, it means God has something for you to do for your people. So, when I went to the airport and God refused to give me my boarding pass, then it means there is something God wants me to do in Nigeria and my coming here, I believe that is one of the assignments God wants me to do.
“You are here today doing what you are doing because you believe in Nigeria and believe strongly that Nigeria belongs all Nigerians particularly yourselves. The future is yours, I believe that most of us on the stage will give way to you when it pleases God to do so. You are no longer going to be used by others as thugs who after election dump you.
“The problem of this country, particularly in the North East is our problem. I want to say this to you that you have a future, anybody who paints the picture of Nigeria black is unpatriotic, and he is not a Nigerian.”
Clark called on the opposition to identify itself with the government in tackling the problems in the North East “which is a Nigerian problem.”
“It is not an Hausa problem, it is not a Kanuri problem, it is a problems for all of us. But where you have an opposition thinking that they can do whatever they like, all they do is to see ‘how do we come into power, let there be anarchy and we will cure it’, if there is anarchy today in Nigeria, no political party can solve it. So why not work together with the party and government in power?
“The problem of the world is not in this country alone, everywhere in this world, there are problems-economic problems, political problems, and social problems; don’t therefore deny your country. Be proud of your country. The mere fact that you are in opposition, and you are not in the government party, is not enough to destroy your own country, if you do that, then you are unpatriotic, then you are not a Nigerian that I said earlier on.
“We are praying by our tongue; when recently two British citizens were hijacked and killed in Iraq and Somalia, what happened? The opposition—the Labour Party joined the Conservative Party to pass a resolution to allow the British Army to go into Iraq and to Syria. The same thing happened America, they never wanted to join the war in the Middle East again but when their people were killed, they joined together, even the Republicans were more enthusiastic persuading the government but in this country, ‘it is pull the government down then we take over!’
“Who will support you? If you are not ready to support others, will anybody support you? Nobody. So my children, this country belongs to you, it’s a wealthy country, we may have challenges in economy and other areas but those challenges must be solved by all of you and all of us to have a better Nigeria.”
He told the gathering made up of youths that, “You are no longer going to be used as thugs by politicians and dumped after elections. That is one of the problems of this country. The problem of this country is our politicians. Anybody who paints the picture of this country bad is not patriotic.
“I wish many more Nigerian youths will join what you are doing. We want a better Nigeria where nobody is superior or inferior to the other. A Nigeria where we are all equal and a Nigeria where you can aspire to become anything.”