Monday, 12 October 2015

Edwin Clark Spoke The Truth About Goodluck Jonathan By Dr. Wumi Akintide

Rather than calling the bluff of his Oil Minister, he was more than happy to elevate her to President of OPEC where she could go do a greater damage to the reputation of Nigeria. Nigerians ought to hold Mr. Jonathan accountable for all of the iniquities of his ministers and corrupt officials. Mr. Clark has done that with his statement on Jonathan and he was dead right to do that in his new role as elder statesman. I totally agree with him.


ever thought I would ever find myself holding brief for the elder statesman from the South/South. I am talking of the brilliant and loquacious attorney Edwin Kiagbodo Clark whose bloodline is traced to two important tribes in the South/South Geo political zone of Nigeria. One of his parents is Urhobo and the other is Ijaw and he uses both sides very effectively as needed.

Dr. Wumi Akintide
 Edwin Clark belongs to the most powerful ethnic minority in Nigeria that Obafemi Awolowp correctly predicted long ago would be the first ethnic minority to ever have the chance to dislodge the powerful Hausa/ Fulani, the Yorubas and the Igbos, who are the three dominant tribes in Nigeria, with sufficient gravitas and the population to forever dominate Nigerian power configuration. Left to the Hausa/Fulani bloc who called themselves the “born to rule”, it was never their plan to relinquish power but they were forced by circumstances beyond their control to concede power to a Southerner when Murtala Mohammed was assassinated by a fellow Northerner, Colonel Dimka from the minority Middle Belt area.
 It became clear to the Northerners at that point, they could no longer bypass Murtala’s number two man Olusegun Obasanjo to settle for another junior Northerner as they did when they picked Yakubu Gowon to succeed Aguiyi Ironsi because they believed  that the South would not tolerate another Muslim from the North, given the bitterness and resentment which followed the assassination of Aguiyi Ironsi and Adekunle Fajuyi at Agodi GRA in Ibadan in July 1966.
The South grudgingly accepted Yakubu Gowon as head of State as a compromise choice. So when another coup led by Dimka took out Murtala Mohammed, the Northern powerbrokers had to allow his number two man Mr. Obasanjo to replace Mr. Murtala based on a quid pro quo agreement that elevated Mr. Shehu Musa Yar Adua as the number 2 man to Mr. Obasanjo even though he was a junior officer to Mr. Obasanjo at that point.
Mr. Obasanjo appeared to be the least intimidating of the Southern officers available for the job and the most reluctant to seriously rock the boat for the Northerners. Mr. Obasanjo wisely delivered on his promise to the North when he resolutely paved the way for Shehu Shagari to return back to power by quickly proclaiming Mr. Shagari as winner of the highly compromised 1979 election even before the Appeal Court had a chance to return a verdict on the Awolowo petition.
All I am saying is that politics in Nigeria has always been about opportunism, ethnic balancing, and bread and butter as individuals position themselves in the only political party they think is most likely to win when the chips are down. Conviction politicians have therefore become a very rare species in Nigeria if you know what I mean. They are endangered species in a country where politics has become the most lucrative occupation minus the Church and the Entertainment industry, if you are paying attention as much as I do.
The Action Group under Obafemi Awolowo used to boast of more of such conviction politicians before Mr. Buhari and his cohorts came on board.  Mr. Awolowo and Mr. Buhari ran and lost the presidency three times. Buhari won the fourth time only because Nigeria was brought down to her knees by the limitless corruption of the Jonathan Administration and the resolute approach of an Attahiru Jega who for once decided to conduct the fairest and the most free election in Nigeria despite deliberate intimidation from the President who appointed him. Mr. Jonathan had thought he could buy the election by throwing money around like a drunken sailor.
Buhari won because he developed a winning strategy by developing strong ties to the Southwest Zone, which stood by him through thick and thin.  Consequently, the Southwest Zone became the swing vote or his last hope for victory in that election. The development nonetheless show-cased Nigerians as opportunistic politicians who would do anything to remain in power as many People’s Democratic Party (PDP) prominent politicians like Saraki jumped ship when it became clear to them the PDP was bound to lose.
They took their old habits to the All Peoples Congress (APC) and the stalemate we have all witnessed under Buhari and the intransigence of Saraki in securing the Senate President position for himself and the Deputy Senate President for Ekweremadu of the PDP stemmed from this morbid craze for power at all cost.
The roll call for conviction politicians in Nigeria took a hit following the death of Obafemi Awolowo in 1987. His followers and so-called Awoists like Deputy Governor Omoboriowo in Ondo State in 1983 was the first to bail out to join the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) when he lost the primary for Governor of Ondo State to Pa Adekunle Ajasin who had wanted a second term. Mr. Omoboriowo was soon followed by prominent Action Group politicians in Ondo State like Honorable Olaiya Fagbamigbe and Honorable Agunbiade who all decamped to the powerful NPN to give themselves an inroad to a position at the Federal level.
The mayhem that followed the Omoboriowo rigging of the Governorship election in Ondo State had led to the death of Mr. Olaiya Fagbamigbe and Mr. Agunbiade and many other local champions of the NPN in Ondo State. There were many in the Action Group who were already suffering from the Awolowo fatigue but could not bolt away while the great leader was still alive. After the man’s death, the NPN saw an opening to lure such politicians out of the Action Group into the NPN.
When the Shagari-led NPN was dethroned in 1985 by Mr. Buhari and Mr.Tunde Idiagbon and many Action Group leaders were put into detention on trumped-up charges by the new regime, many Afenifere loyalists began to have second thought on whether or not their conviction politics had been worth the sacrifice or the effort. What followed was a major realignment of forces in Nigeria which saw the PDP becoming an octopus and the biggest party in Africa which boasted at one point it was going to rule Nigeria for 100 years without a break.
So when Mr. Obasanjo was released from prison in 1999 to lead the reconstituted NPN now renamed PDP, many of such politicians in the old Action Group or the Afenifere group decamped into the PDP in 2003 after Obasanjo’s PDP rolled over the whole of the Southwest with the exception of Lagos. The old Afenifere broke into 2 factions with a faction led by Mr. Bola Tinubu and Mr. Bisi Akande and the other faction led by Chief Fasoranti after the death of Pa Abraham Adesanya.

The Fasorasnti faction did not like the Tinubu faction at all.  In their desperation and hatred of Tinubu, and not because of any ideological persuasion or conviction, they decided to side with Olusegun Mimiko of the Labor Party which governed Ondo State. Mr. Mimiko who had his eyes on replacing Tinubu and becoming the possible successor to Obafemi Awolowo made overtures to the old Afenifere led by Mr. Fashoranti, and individuals like Mr. Ayo Adebanjo and Senator Okurounmu and Chief Oluyemi Falae. By getting their tacit support, Mimiko made that development a bargaining chip to convince the Jonathan-led PDP he could deliver the Southwest states to the PDP in the 2015 elections. He formally declared for the PDP with the Afenifere group in total agreement. Jonathan sealed the deal when he visited the Afenifere Chieftain in Akure with bags of money and plenty of it.



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