ABUJA— Elder statesman and prominent Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, yesterday, declared that some highly placed individuals from the Northern part of the country were behind the increasing spate of violence in Nigeria to actualize their vow of “making the nation ungovernable for President Jonathan.”
Speaking as a guest lecturer at the “2nd State of the Federation Lecture” organized by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, NIALS, Clark therefore challenged two former heads of state, Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Muhammadu Buhari, to establish their innocence by publicly condemning activities of the Boko Haram Islamic sect.
The lecture was chaired by former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana.
Former heads of state, Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Muhammadu Buhari
His word: “Our type of terrorism is home grown, unlike in Israel and the US, where terrorism was imported from the Middle-East. Here our Nigerians are the Boko Harams. Boko Haram which was religious has now become a political tool. Those who said they would make Nigeria ungovernable are those behind Boko Haram. It is our proverb that if in the night a mother sleeps with the child and owl cries, if in the morning that child dies, it is the owl that killed the baby. Federal Government should pick up courage and the political will to take up these people, if that is done I believe the problem of Boko Haram will be solved.
“If the Federal Government should dialogue with them, the government of those states should be able to galvanize their people. What are their grievances? Like in the Niger Delta, our own agitation was for the implementation of the 50% derivation formula, today, what is their grievance?
“They are killing everybody, security forces, burning churches, burning human beings. I appeal to governors, instead of devoting themselves to holding governorship meetings in Abuja every month; they should go home and work. They should be made to know that if they don’t perform, state of emergency will be declared in their states for six months.
“Two former heads of state recently made this kind of appeal against the growing level of insecurity in the country, as if they were not part of the system when Boko Haram was formed.
“Boko Haram preceded Jonathan. It started in 2002 when Obasanjo was President. It was there when Yar’Adua was also ruling. It is not synonymous with Jonathan. I had expected that somebody like Babangida should have spoken since. I thought he would have spoken with his friend Buhari. Two of them have been meeting. So why is he now with Obasanjo?
“At 72, Babangida said he will wear uniform and fight for the unity of Nigeria, he should therefore stand up now and condemn Boko Haram from the bottom of his heart, not with Obasanjo.
“Obasanjo has gone to Maiduguri to meet the people, why has Babangida not gone?” he asked.
Besides arguing that President Jonathan has the legal right to seek re-election in 2015, Clark, yesterday, condemned the height of corruption in the judiciary, calling for the immediate prosecution of past political office holders, some of whom he said were granted frivolous ex-parte injunctions.
Recalling that he earlier wrote a petition to the erstwhile Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, on the role and failure of the Judiciary to eradicate corruption in Nigeria, Clark lamented that “some very high profile cases of corruption against some former governors and ministers have been lying fallow in various courts for five years and above.”
SOURCE: Vanguard Nigeria