Publish date: 2022-07-12 18:05:02 | Author: Friday Olokor | Source: punchng.com
Nonagenarian and leader of the Southerner and Middle Belt Forum, Chief Edwin Clark on Tuesday added an interesting twist into the 2023 election saying if he were to vote, he would vote for the All Progressives Congress for zoning the Presidency to the South.
He said, however, that he had withdrawn his support for the APC because of its insistence on Muslim-Muslim ticket for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima, despite national outcry.
Clark, who is also the Convener of Pan-Niger Delta Forum and former Federal Information Commissioner of the First Republic, also gave an insight into why he withdrew his support for the Peoples Democratic Party.
The elder statesman also revealed how the Northern PDP governors contributed money towards the success of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), during the 2015 election.
According to him, the North squandered Jonathan’s money, betrayed and deceived him after assuring him of victory in the 2015 election.
Clark stated these during a solidarity visit to him by members of the Delta Central APC Leaders of Thought led by Chief Ominimini Obiuwevbi.
The DECALT leader said they were in the Abuja residence of Clark to find out their political direction in the 2023 general election.
Clark said, “We are saying that up till today, we still believe in a Southern President. So that’s why some of us have said the APC that we never wanted to talk about is the one that has listened to us by zoning the Presidency to the south?
“Because I am an old man of 95, I no longer belong to a political party. Whereas if I were to vote, and you put only two parties, APC and PDP, I will vote for APC for zoning the presidency to the south and listening to our appeal.
“The governors of the states, they feel they are so powerful. But the only thing your party has done that has made me to withdraw my support, is its Muslim-Muslim ticket. I won’t talk about it.
“Jonathan was the President for some time. The Northerners said it was their turn. In 2015, the Northern PDP leaders ganged up with APC to remove Jonathan from office. They didn’t campaign. Jonathan was on his own.
“So when people ask why Jonathan is not in PDP now, and not attending PDP meetings, I can simply say that he is learning his lessons that the people he trusted did not trust him. They squandered his money, the party’s money and they left.
“So when people ask, why is Jonathan not in PDP? he knows how they betrayed him; the Northern PDP governors contributed money towards Buhari’s success. How members of his government betrayed him.
“The national chairman of the PDP at the time, Dr. (Adamu) Muazu, did not go to his home to campaign. He was only following Jonathan about. He knew what he was doing. Every one of them wanted Buhari to win, so Buhari won.
“He has ruled for eight years. Now the same Northern leaders are now saying, competence, no zoning, integrity, no zoning. We thought it was a play but they maneuvered in PDP’s Mr. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who have been wanting to be Nigeria’s President over the years, championing the cause of division. So PDP, a party we loved, a party of Southern Nigeria, disappointed us.
Clark also shed light on how Atiku and governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State jettisoned the agitation by PDP for the zoning of the Presidency to the South in 2023.
He said, “We all own this country. We didn’t come to settle with Northerners. It was Luggard who joined us in 1914. So, we stood by this. The governors then went to Lagos and said the same thing. They went to Enugu again in August and they affirmed the same thing.
“Several times we met here and before the PDP had their primary, we met here again and repeated the same thing.
“Our own Governor (Okowa) initiated the meeting. If you agreed for a meeting to be held in your house and you backed out thereafter, you have betrayed your colleagues. Isn’t it?
“Who is Atiku that thinks that he is very important? That people like us when we speak, he will not listen? A good leader must be the one that listens to calls. So if you become President, what will you do?
Are we right? Will you support us?”