Chief Edwin Clark, former Federal Commissioner for Information and Ijaw leader, yesterday, reemphasized that nobody in Nigeria can stop President Goodluck Jonathan from contesting the 2015 presidential elections.
According to This Day, Clark insisted that all Nigerians were equal and could aspire to the highest office in this country in accordance with the constitution. He spoke at his Abuja residence Tuesday while receiving a delegation of the Second Republic House of Representatives members who paid him a courtesy visit.
“The constitution provides for two terms. In 1979, Shehu Shagari from the North was president until 1983 when he got his second term terminated by Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) for reasons best known to them. They thought that at the end of his second term, he would hand over to Alex Ekwueme or to Akinloye. They then staged a coup and drove him (Shagari) away and imprisoned all the politicians. Who took over? Another northerner”.
“The 1999 Constitution provides for two tenure of four years each after two democratically conducted elections. Apart from the illegality of the purported agreement with the northern state governors, such a mindset violates the letter and spirit of the 1999 Constitution as amended. There is no speculation that the PDP is planning to impose President Jonathan as the sole candidate of the party in the upcoming convention”.
“The practice in democratic presidential system of government is that an incumbent president remains the sole candidate of a political party at the party’s convention, if he or she is willing to contest for a second term in office. This is the practice in the United States of America from where Nigeria copied her own model of presidential system of government”.
‘’To lend credence to the fact that a sitting president is entitled to a second term, the ambitious and unpatriotic governors and some northern conservative politicians confirmed this constitutional provision by saying that it was the second term of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua that the North wanted to complete in 2011. In other words, late President Yar’Adua was entitled to eight years in office but Dr. Jonathan is entitled to only a single term contrary to the 1999 Constitution. Is that not double standard? What a shame!”
Clark concluded by calling on well-meaning Nigerians to support President Jonathan.