Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, yesterday accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo of joining forces with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, which was behaving like an opposition party to the federal government and the 2015 electoral interest of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Speaking at a news conference on the state of the nation, he said Obasanjo would be more honourable if he stayed at home as a former president and political leader whose home should be a political pilgrimage rather than roaming about , casting himself as an indispensable ruler and party leader.
“Obasanjo now pays instant homage to any governor that speaks ill of President Goodluck Jonathan. He is causing confusion in the polity rather than sitting back at home as a former president and political leader whose home should be a political pilgrim,” Clark said.
He also made available to the journalists present at the conference a letter addressed to the Governors’ Forum in which he accused it of being a threat to the stability and peace of Nigeria.
He also accused them of serially breaching the constitutions of both the PDP and the country.
“My dear governors, today I am over 85 years old. I have a slogan which is that when one is 70 years and above, he is at the Departure Lounge, waiting for the Boarding Pass and, therefore, such person must have the courage and wisdom to speak out one’s mind on any issue affecting the destiny of the country,” he asserted.
“The Forum has now become a threat to the peace and stability of Nigeria. Most of the governors today are more dictatorial than the then military governors,” Clark said.
He also declared that this had to come to an end, “because our democracy is now resting on the keg of gun powder. The governors have to choose between to be or not to be with democracy in Nigeria.”
The letter went on: “The ugly truth is that, today, the PDP as a political party is no longer in control of its various organs and, for some time now, proper elections at congresses and conventions have not been held democratically due to the imposition of unqualified members on the good members of the party, contravening Section 87(4) of the Electoral Act 2011(as amended) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Act.
“The PDP governors now regard themselves as the leaders of the party, using their own structures to entrench corruption, lack of internal democracy, imposition of candidates within the structures of the party over the recognized structures as entrenched in the party’s constitution,”
He also contended that the continuous imposition of candidates with complete disregard for the provisions of the party’s constitution was causing the cohesion and harmony of the party to weaken, while destroying its peace, unity, solidarity and democratic values.
“Even worse is the quality of governance in most of the PDP-controlled states which is very poor, thereby jettisoning the aims and objective of the 1998/1999 founding fathers, which is the propagation of democratic ideals in the Nigerian polity”, he said.
He further bemoaned the absence of unity in the party, citing the example of Ogun State where the party under a former President and BoT chairman of the party lost elections in the state due to fictionalization of the party, in obvious reference to Obasanjo.
“Currently, there are three factions of the party in the state; one is headed by the former president of the nation, the next one is headed by Chief Gbenga Daniel, a former governor of the state, and the third is headed by Buruji Kashamu.”
He lamented that while the state secretariat was under lock and key, “Obasanjo was yet parading himself all over the country as an indispensable ruler and party leader, causing confusion rather than sitting back home as a former president and political leader whose home should be a political pilgrim.”
“The PDP members at the grassroots no longer control the party and the power of the party no longer belongs to the people. The people have lost the power reluctantly, accepting the slogan: ‘Power to the Governors.’
According to him, the over-bearing influence of the Governors’ Forum in the polity has become a matter of serious concern.
“The activities of the PDP Governors Forum in particular have become very disturbing and calls for urgent correction as it is fast eroding the authority and the supremacy of the party and posing a serious threat to our democracy.
“The Forum has become a powerful tool in the hands of the governors who now use it to pursue and promote their individual and collective interests with little or no regard to the letter and spirit of the party’s constitution and supremacy.”