Respected Ijaw leader, Edwin Clark, has come under intense criticism for his recent comments on the emergency rule imposed on Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States.
Clark had implored President Goodluck Jonathan to declare a total state of emergency which will see the suspension of all democratic structures so that the Boko Haram insurgency could be tackled once and for all by the military authorities.
Reacting to the statement on Thursday, the All Progressives Congress, APC, said that apart from pushing President Jonathan to commit an unconstitutional act, Clark was also working to help the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, devise an undemocratic way to win elections in 2015 by forcefully overthrowing elected officials in the affected states.
Interim national publicity secretary of the APC, Lai Mohammed, said it a statement that the advice by the Ijaw leader is not aimed at curbing insurgency but to give an unfair advantage to the PDP, since the three states involved are all ruled by the opposition.
He stated that contrary to insinuations by the federal government, the three state governments have given Nigerian troops unprecedented support both in cash and kind, without which the war on terror may have been harder to fight.
“Removing the governors of the three states under a state of emergency and replacing them with PDP members or those with sympathy for the party, as the Clarks of this world are advocating, cannot be the panacea to the terrorist activities of Boko Haram,” he added.
The APC therefore urged statesmen in the country to rise above the fray and put the national interest above sectional considerations in their efforts to help seek an end to the insurgency that has claimed over 12,000 innocent lives since 2009.
Similarly, the Yobe State governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, has described Clark’s comments as “ill-informed, malicious and vindictive”, and urged President Jonathan to call him to order.
Gaidam who was speaking through his special adviser on press affairs and information, Abdullahi Bego, re-stated that the extension of the state of emergency in the three states was unnecessary as it has failed to yield the desired result since it was adopted over a year ago.
He condemned Clark for describing him and his Borno and Adamawa state counterparts as conspirators who are hiding under the guise of opposition to scuttle Jonathan’s constitutional right to seek a second term as guaranteed by the 1999 constitution.
“First, we condemn in the strongest terms this totally unwarranted attack on the persons of the three state governors. We take the strongest possible exception to Mr. Clark’s vitriolic and totally baseless statements. We ask that he respects his very old age and either speak with decorum and facts or keep quiet,” Gaidam said.
He said further, “It is also important to state, once again, that no section of the constitution of our country ever envisioned the appointment of a sole or military administrator in any of the 36 states of the federation under the prevailing democratic order and that Mr. Clark’s repeated analogy of the scenarios in Ekiti and Plateau States during the Obasanjo government when emergency rule was declared in those states woefully fails to grasp the world of difference with the prevailing situations in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States today.”
The governor emphasized that the Boko Haram sect is an evil, ignorant, totally un-Islamic and condemnable ideology which must be fought as a threat to humanity and the whole of the country.
He said what was required is a strong will on the part of the federal government, adding also that Nigerian troops have to be adequately equipped for the fight against the insurgents.
“One of the major components of this effort remains the necessity to provide our troops on the ground the weaponry and capabilities they need to go after and subdue Boko Haram,” he noted.