Elder statesman and former Federal Commissioner of Information, Chief Edwin Clark, Wednesday in Abuja berated the governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) for constituting themselves into the opposition.
Clark, who was a guest lecturer at a symposium organised by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, said the PDP governors had taken over the party and turned themselves into the opposition that had made governance difficult for President Goodluck Jonathan.
He said some officers of the party (PDP) have no regard for the chairman and leaders of the party because they were put in place by the governors.
“The governors have taken over the PDP. The governors have turned themselves into an opposition political party. They installed some officers of the party and therefore, some of the officers are not loyal to the leaders of the party,” he alleged.
The elder statesman, who described the leader of Action Congress of Nigeria, (ACN), Senator Bola Tinubu, as being rude for calling the president a drunken fisherman, also accused past leaders, particularly, Northern governors, of creating Boko Haram to destabilise the government of Jonathan.
He called on the Federal Government to arrest prominent politicians who had threatened to make the country ungovernable if Jonathan won the 2011 presidential election.
Clark said that such prominent politicians should be prosecuted, but he did not mention any names.
He was of the view that there is a link between the threat to make the country ungovernable and the activities of Boko Haram, as some prominent politicians had vowed to make the country ungovernable if they did not win the 2011 election.
He said: “Boko Haram is a political group created by some politicians who have vowed that they will make the country ungovernable if they don’t win the election.
“The government should have taken care of those who made the statement before now.”
He also said the silence of former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, on the Boko Haram crisis was not golden and urged the 19 Northern state governors to pay more attention to security issues in their states.
“IBB should have spoken on the Boko Haram issue long before now, why has he been silent all this while? Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has visited Maiduguri, why have IBB and General Buhari not visited the place?” He asked.
The elder statesman went further to enjoin the legislature to wait for suggestions from a national conference before proceeding with the review of the constitution.
He held that the constitution must be written by the people, adding “but it is only an amendment to the constitution that will keep this country together because if a new constitution is written it will only benefit the devils – the politicians.”
Speaking on the call for a sovereign national conference, the 85-year-old stated, “What we need is a national conference and not a sovereign national conference because the result of the sovereign national conference can go anyway.”
He welcomed the conveying of a national conference “to discuss the basis of our existence as a nation."
“We have never done this since Lord Luggard put us together in 1914 and by fiat, Floral Shaw gave us the name Nigeria” he said.
According to the veteran politician, “Only a national conference can provide the basis for Nigeria’s unity.”
He appealed to the Federal Government to “convene a national conference where we (Nigerians) can discuss the basis of our country; where we can discuss corruption, marginalisation and every other thing.
“The suggestions from this conference will then be submitted to the National Assembly before the constitution amendment is carried out. This is the only way we can have a people’s constitution.”