The call of Elder Edwin Clarke for the resignation of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa from the vice presidential race is a vindication of Olorogun Barrister Kenneth Gbagi, the Delta state Social Democratic Party SDP governorship candidate who has continuously insisted that Governor Okowa cannot be vice president of the federal republic of Nigeria.
In several interview sessions, Gbagi had said that Okowa’s agreement to be running mate to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party PDP was a violation of the North-South rotational presidential arrangement in Nigeria.
Gbagi also said that the arrangement included one Muslim North and one Christian South in an eight-year plan. With Gbagi’s explanation, Atiku Abubakar of the PDP and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the APC have been systematically removed from the presidential contest.
The SDP governorship candidate said Okowa surreptitiously deceived Southern Nigeria governors who collectively agreed in three different meetings in Asaba, Lagos and Enugu that the presidency should return to the South after President Muhammadu’s eight-year tenure.
Following his explanation, he said Okowa cannot be Nigeria’s vice president. He said if it happens that Okowa’s party wins the presidency, Nigeria would pay dearly for the avoidable error. Hence, he called on all Nigerians irrespective of party affiliation and religion to resist PDP winning presidential election.
His vindication came to the fore on Thursday when Chief EK Clark wrote a letter to the governor, calling him to apologize to Southern Nigeria people and the governors of the 17 Southern states for pulling the wool over their eyes during the three meetings held in the three locations.
In a long letter signed by EK Clarke himself, he said Okowa had deliberately and immorally betrayed his colleagues of Southern Nigeria and the people for his selfish ambition by wanting to land on a safer ground by accepting to serve as running mate to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
He said such prayers of Governor Okowa to emerge as vice president of the federal republic of Nigeria will not be answered as the gravity of the offense he committed against the people of Southern Nigeria could only be imagined.
Part of his letter extracted from Niger Delta Today read as follows:
“Your Excellency, my letter will definitely come to you as a surprise because of my unusual silence over your nearly eight years governance in Delta State. But my unusual silence does not mean I have kept a blind eye over some corrupt and misuse of power by you.
“This is particularly, having regards to my activities during your predecessors reign where I openly criticized them, and I was tagged a trouble maker by my detractors; hence I did not act for sometime during your administration.
“It is my intention therefore to release some of these ugly information to Delta state people by your lack of sincere, lack of honest, and lack of transparent administration. This is especially as the Delta people are scared of you and unable to speak out against your government.
“Most of them have been reduced to mere robots either because of self interest or personal patronage or the allowances they receive from the government.
“I am indeed very sad that some of our leaders from the state who betrayed us in Abuja during Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s presidential primaries in 2010/2011 have relocated to Delta state to perpetuate their evil design again. Let them be warned, otherwise, they will be exposed.
“Today, I say with certainty that you are more dictatorial than any other military administrator that has administered Delta state since its creation in 1991. I can therefore understand why you have deliberately and immorally betrayed your colleagues of Southern Nigeria and the people for your own selfish ambition by wanting to land on a safer ground by accepting to serve as running mate to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar
“No, by God’s grace your prayer will not be answered. Perhaps, you have forgotten the gravity of the offence you have committed against the people of Southern Nigeria.
“In order to cover your nefarious plot, you voluntarily induced everyone to host a meeting of the 17 Southern Governors in Government House Asaba on Tuesday 11th May 2021. You gave them a very good reception and provided them a secretariat that drafted the communiqué under your supervision, which was ably read by the Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state.
“It was indeed a bombshell, as you collectively demanded for Southern presidency and insisted that none of you should accept to be a vice president.
“Shortly afterwards, the Southern and Middle-Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF), which I lead, gave the governors’ declaration 100% support and declared that no Southern serving governor, legislators or politicians should accept to be running mate, particularly to Atiku Abubakar.
“The 17 governors later met again in Lagos and Enugu to affirm the decision taken in your Government House Asaba. Little did we know that you were using this to perfect your secret plan to be running mate to Atiku Abubakar from the very beginning.
“We are therefore not surprised that you directed all the delegates from Delta state not to vote for Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State or Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom state who are your neighbours but instead, they voted massively for Atiku Abubakar during the PDP presidential primaries last year.
“It would be recalled in 2007, that Delta state finances were used in funding part of the election of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua through the directive of President Olusegun Obasanjo. We were therefore not surprised when you too decided to finance Atiku Abubakar with Delta People’s money because; there is nobody to challenge you. I repeat, you will not succeed.
“It is therefore in your own interest to openly apologise to your colleagues of both APC and PDP whom you deceived in taking a decision you never believed in. After your unreserved apology to your people and Southern Nigeria, you should step down your ambition of becoming vice-presidential candidate of the PDP. There your honour lies.
“We can now understand the reason why you are never serious with your chairmanship of the South-South Governors Forum since this will definitely compromise your ambition. You never for one day joined your colleagues to condemn the atrocities being perpetrated against the South.”
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