I read with dismay, pain and utter disappointment the agonizing statement by the so call elder statesman, Chief Edwin K. Clark, who was quoted in the national dailies to have said that Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa state is ‘Not Qualified’ to Be Nigeria’s President.
It was painful because this is coming from a man whom I thought is knowledgeable about the Nigerian constitution. But, surprisingly, the man is ignorant of the constitution. If not, how could someone who rose to the position of a minister of the Federal Republic, out of hate and sentiments, make such an outrageous and barbaric statement about someone who only came out boldly to speak of the ill in the society.
This has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the so called elder statesman who describes himself as the president’s (political) father, has not only alienated himself from the Nigerian context but completely out of touch with actual socio-political realities.
How could someone who lays claim to be an elder statesman, or did I say spokesman for President Jonathan, attack Lamido simply because he disassociated himself from an unjust and unpopular cause meant to create further division among Nigerians.
His claim to represent a vague and an undefined geographical zone is already an indictment of the overall motivation, otherwise, when did Clark become the sole determinant of who ‘qualifies’ to vie for Nigeria’s presidency and who is not qualified.
What are the criteria for one to vie for the position of Nigeria’s president? The last time I checked the constitution, all that is required is to complete your secondary education. So where did he get this ridiculous notion that someone who served as Foreign minister of Nigeria from 1999 to 2003; elected governor of Jigawa State in April 2007 and ran successfully for reelection on 26 April 2011, is not qualify to be President.
Of course, we all know that his remark was an attempt to discredit Alh. Sule Lamido and other northern politicians who have refused to join the clueless, incompetent administration of President Jonathan. Clark is afraid that Lamido possesses the political clout to dislodge his ethnic kin from the Aso Rock Villa.
Lamido has transformed Jigawa by all development indices from the poorest state on account of zero to development tangibles. He is a leader who knows the weight of his office. Leadership is a responsibility that should not be frittered away. That, probably is the kind of responsibility that Alhaji Sule Lamido, the Governor of Jigawa has chosen to opt for.
It is no longer news that Edwin Clark hates Lamido and all those who speak up against the mis-governance taking place. He is ignorant of what Lamido stands for. Clark cares nothing for actual modern democratic governance that will move this nation and all of its people forward regardless of ethnic origin. He is obsessed with making sure his ethnic kin remains in the Villa by all means necessary.
He cares less if the nation crumbles around him. As long as his ethnic son is on seat, all is fine for him. But all is not fine for the rest of Nigeria. Not even members of Clark’s own ethnic group. Otherwise what administrative experience does President Jonathan have which Lamido doesn’t possess?
What does this ancient and quarrelsome fisherman know about Sule Lamido by describing him as an unknown quantity? To put the record straight, Lamido was imprisoned in 1998 by late Gen, Sanni Abacha for criticizing his plan to perpetuate himself in office. So, it is not new for Lamido to always speak out against such leaders championing a bad cause by deploying tactics to remain in Aso Rock by all means.
This is the problem with people like Clark. The nation is suffering a political, economic and moral slide that must be arrested. If not, we shall crash against the hard rock of fate. Yet, all he can do is pound the ethnic drum. This is the politics of the past which has no place in modern era. If we continue this way, we shall crash and such will not be a pretty one.
Hussain Mohammed wrote in from Gwarinpa, in Abuja