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"It is in the interest of Nigeria and the unity of our country that Jonathan should contest the 2015 elections" - Edwin Clark
| May 21, 2013
Speaking at the third conference of the Southern Nigeria Peoples Assembly, Chief Edwin Clark, a former Minister of Information, said that President Goodluck Jonathan than should be allowed to contest for the 2015 presidency, and the Northerners should wait until 2019 after Jonathan has completed his second term since it it not yet their turn He also stated that the Nigerian constitution is clear on the number of terms that every president can contest and the people of the South-South believe that President Goodluck Jonathan serving another term in 2015 will help the unity of Nigeria. Chief Clark said, "We of the South South believe that it is the interest of Nigeria and the unity of our country that Jonathan should contest. No one should strike him out. Movement of power or power rotation is not proper at this time. In the Nigerian constitution every president has two elections to be contested. "Alhaji Shehu Shagari did it in 1979 and in 1983 he did it again. Then in 1999, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo did it and in 2003 he contested again. In 2007, Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua Umaru of blessed memory did it and if he had remained alive, he would have done it again in 2011. So Jonathan is not a different person, he is a Nigerian, the president of Nigeria ." "Therefore, he too has the right to contest again, nothing new about it because Constitution says you must contest for two elections and rule for eight years, its only then you are disqualified. “Who owns the country more than anybody? Nigeria belongs to all of us and there is nobody who is superior to another. If you are talking about peace, peace for who? So if a Northerner does not rule this country won’t there be peace." “Nigeria belong to all of us and there is nobody who is superior to another. If you are talking about peace, peace for who? There is an incumbent who has not done a second term, so northerners have no place. It is not yet the turn of a northerner. They have the right to contest as Nigerians, yes, in other parties”. "So, if a northerner does not rule this country, there won’t be peace? They have ruled for over 38 years, we have only ruled from the South for less than 14 years, and when Lugard united this country, he didn’t say the North is superior to the South. We are all equal in this country, and anybody can aspire to the highest position in this country, so nobody has the prerogative to rule others. “There is an incumbent who had not done a second term, so North had no place. It is not yet the turn of the North." "They have the right to contest as a Nigerian in other political parties. In 1979, Shagari contested with others but in 1983 he alone contested the primary even though there were men of timber and caliber in NPN who would have contested with him at that time, but the party gave it to him unopposed. We don’t believe in double standards” "Having noted the negative effects of our divisiveness it is important that we clearly define the fundamental objective of our coming together which is to expand trust, solidarity, shared commonality and commit ourselves wholly to uniting our people for our common good." “In our efforts to build an enduring legacy of one united family for the first time in the almost 100 years of our existence as a country, let us deliberately cultivate and imbue in members of our generation and beyond the attributes of tolerance and love for one another." "There can be no alternative to building a loving family because love is the fulcrum of survival and life. A house where love flourishes will usually resolve issues that cause disaffection and disharmony internally. Outsiders are regarded as pariahs. As earlier noted our inability to act as one concentric and impermeable family provided the leeway for the North to undermine and exploit us. The inexplicable outcome was that the North successfully pummeled us to endorse their leadership of the country for 38 years compared to the 14+ years the South has ruled the country." “Today, all we hear on daily basis is that power must return to the North. Whether such hues and cries have the endorsement of Nigerians is left to be seen. We are nonetheless encouraged by our renewed solidarity and shared commonality to say that as people who have consistently been driven by the thrust of equity, justice and fairness, we must seek to balance the observed disparity in the leadership paradigm." "Consequently, we are inclined to state that power shift culminating in the transfer of the presidency to anywhere outside the confines of the southern hemisphere would be an aberration this Assembly should not endorse. It may perhaps be apposite for anybody holding a contrary view to say so now.’’

(5) Comment


"The views and opinions expressed in these comment(s) or article(s) do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NGEX, its partners or its affiliates."
OMOTAYO, J. A.    Lagos, NIGERIA    July 04, 2013
I wonder what makes Mr. Jonathan the one who is transforming Nigeria. Just today is the news that Nigeria has been spending a part of $3.0 billion loan from China with a repayment period of 15 - 20 years. The $3.0 billion is a component of a larger loan portfolio totaling $7.9 billion.

It is on record that when Mr. Jonathan assumed office, our total external debt was less than $3.6 billion and domestic debt was less than $3.0 billion. The total of both was less than $7.0 billion. As at today, the external debt alone is higher than the $7.0 billion while domestic debt is over $3.0 billion. With further borrowing by Mr. Jonathan, Nigeria may be owing between $15.0 billion and $20.0 billion by May 2015 when he will vacate the office. Does that not show that Mr. Jonathan has returned Nigeria into another debt trap?

He is the worst president Nigeria ever had after Mr. Obasanjo. This is very unfortunate. God save Nigeria.
Bassey, Daniel Nse    UYO, NIGERIA    June 04, 2013
Txns Mr Clark 4 you support, you've spoken well. In my own opinion i guess we all are endowed the right to make a choice of is good for; what's there for the electorate to decide? Every1 has a gift of choosing between good and wrong @ the same some can even distinguish between true & false. All am saying is that we should give this man the chance to project this country into this transformation that He has already ignited,or haven't we seen the robost changes the country has in almost every sector.( "So lets think twice, if we don't move this country forward nobody will do it for us; forget about those Invaders (BH) JONATHAN IS A DESTINED MAN. Carry on my President come 2015.)
OMOTAYO, J. A.    Lagos, NIGERIA    May 25, 2013
Mr. Edwin Clark was right to speak for Mr. Jonathan\'s second term. But he was wrong to ignore some of the fundamentals of the Nigerian Constitution regarding presidential election contest. One of such is that a president can only be sworn in twice not thrice. Mr. Jonathan has been sworn in twice.

He cannot be sworn in the third term as president. Another one is that the president has a maximum of eight years in office. Mr. Jonathan will have about six years by 2015. A second term would mean ten years far above the constitutional limit. The import is that a deliberate violation of Constitutional provisions is established if Mr. Jonathan should contest in 2015. Where Constitutional provisions are violated with impunity, peace may not have been given a chance to exist. Let another Ijaw, South-South, South-East, etc man contest in place of Mr. Jonathan if power is to remain in Southern Nigeria. God save Nigeria.
tony E    JHB, RSA    May 22, 2013
I completely agree that PRESIDENT Jonathan has the constitutional right to contest for a second term in office. I am not sure I understand what Mr Edwin Clark means by \
'turn' and how he determines whose turn it is. He has been curiously silent on the Igbos of the South East. It doesn\'t appear to me that they exist in his own Nigeria and I wonder what his take is on a president from that part of the country. In any case Nigerians must decide on who will occupy Aso Rock Villa come 2015.
Osato    Ibadan, Nigeria    May 21, 2013
No one is disputing the fact that GEJ has a right to contest in 2015. He has to be re- nominated by PDP, and face the electorate who would have to decide if he has done well.
If based on the very low standards of the Ijaws, he has done excellently well, other Nigerians just might say that the standard is too low for us.
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