Former Federal Commissioner for Information, Edwin Clark has again reacted to the believe in some quarters that President Goodluck Jonathan is not doing enough to tackle the Boko Haram violent sect.
According to him, insurgency was a national problem, which was spreading all over the world.
He said citizens must stop the blame game and join hands with the federal government to confront the challenge.
“It’s not the president’s problem alone. It’s not a North East problem alone, it’s not the ruling party’s problem alone; It’s not the problem of the opposition party. It’s everybody’s problem”, Clark told Daily Independent.
“We must put our differences aside and fight a common enemy trying to invade our country. The soldiers alone cannot do it. The Armed Forces alone cannot do it. It requires the cooperation of everybody.
“Also I believe the victims of insurgency should be taken care of. NEMA should give out enough relief materials. Major religious bodies like the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN and the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA should join hands to bring succour to the people displaced by insurgency”.
Asked if the president had done enough for Nigerians to vote him in for a second term, the Ijaw leader replied in the affirmative.
“Yes, he has. And if his party, the PDP, and the various organs of the party unanimously decide to make him the sole candidate, the party is a great party. That means they are satisfied that he has done enough. I think, without being immodest, he has done more than many other rulers in this country.”
Reminded that former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, believes the incumbent has not done much, Clark said: “Obasanjo is just making noise. I think he is behaving like a spoilt child. He was in office for 8 years; first time, he was in office for 2 years, what did he do for the people of Nigeria?”
“The railway which he abandoned for the 8 years he was in power has been resuscitated by Jonathan. Today you can ride from Iddo station in Lagos to Kano, and the one in the East will soon be in operation. Today a modern rail line is being constructed from Abuja to Kaduna.
“We have so many airports that have been refurbished. What did Obasanjo do during his own time? He sold the Nigeria Airways, left all the airports in a dilapidated position. A man who is from the West, the express road from Lagos to Ibadan, he abandoned it, allowed it to go into decay. President Jonathan has awarded it to a reputable contractor. The road from Shagamu to Benin has been done. Today you can drive from Ore to Benin City in about 1 hour.
“Even the road from Lagos to Ota which passes through his place cannot be used. What has he done that Jonathan did not do? He left this country with about 2, 500 megawatts, today even though people are complaining, it has increased to about 4,500 megawatts. Obasanjo will not give credit to anybody. Tell me what he did for Nigeria in his 8 years in office except that he destroyed the country. Today the country is infested with corruption which he started. It was Obasanjo that legalised corruption in this country”.
Buttressing his point, Clark recalled the ‘Ghana must go’ bribery scandal when Obasanjo allegedly tried to bribe the members of the House of Representatives.
Continuing he said, “Number two, he wanted third term extension, and for that reason he paid N50 million to some of the House of Representatives members for them to approve his third term ambition. He sold away most of government properties belonging to the country at give away prices to companies, some of them he has shares in them.
“Obasanjo is the most corrupt ruler in this country. We can see what he did with Atiku over the Petroleum Development Fund, where Atiku accused him of buying a car for his girlfriend with money from PTDF. So what is Obasanjo talking about? He is the most corrupt leader in Nigeria; he should not be walking about. In fact he should be tried. He should be arrested and be tried in the country, and corruption will go down”.
The statesman added that people now had the impunity to take bribe, because there were no high-profile corrupt persons in jail.
He further predicted that “If Obasanjo is tried for corruption, corruption will go down. People will be afraid. People embrace corruption because nothing has happened to a corrupt leader like Obasanjo”.
Nigerians are corrupt because nothing has happened to leaders like Obasanjo – Clark
Reviewed by James chibueze