By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
Governor of Adamawa state, Murtala Nyako and his counterpart from Yobe, Ibrahim Gaidam, yesterday lambasted Edwin Clark, on his insistence that state of emergency should be extended in the north east, saying such comments were diversionary and capable of sabotaging the country’s democracy.
It would be recalled that the octogenarian Clark, last Thursday, while commenting on the security situation in the northeast called on President Goodluck Jonathan to declare what he called ‘a total state of emergency’ in the three states of Yobe, Borno and Adamawa, and suspend all democratic structures and appoint sole administrators to run the affairs of the states.
Similarly, Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Godswill Akpabio, was also reported by sections of the media to have made similar comments.
Reacting to the comments, Governors Gaidam and Nyako, in a joint statement issued by their Special Adviser, Media, Abdullahi Bego and Director of Press Affairs, Ahmad Sajoh, called on all right-thinking Nigerians to consider these comments as “unthoughtful, provocative, diversionary, and totally out of sync with democratic norms and values of the country.
“The phrase ‘sole administrator’, as noted by many commentators, is a ‘constitutional aberration which cannot be found, even impliedly, in any of the 320 sections of the 1999 Constitution’. Mr. Clark’s comments (and indeed Mr. Akpabio’s) therefore smack of fascism and are clearly a veiled attempt at sabotaging our nation’s democracy which should be resisted by all and sundry.
“Curiously, both Clark and Akpabio are beneficiaries of constitutionalism and democracy in Nigeria. It is therefore mind boggling that the two would seek to putboth constitutionalism and democracy in jeopardy on the altar of their personal interests”.
While condemning in their totality the anti-democratic sentiments expressed by Mr. Clark, the governors called on him to use his age and experience, by contributing to the peace and unity of the nation rather than stoking tensions and being a voice for division and disunity.
The governors also called on Nigerians to discountenance Mr. Clark’s un-statesmanlike and unfortunate comments and to continue to support the broad based effort aimed at addressing the security challenges currently facing the country.