From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Leader of Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Edwin Clark, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari, Chairman Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, and Ademola Adeleke, for the peaceful conduct of Osun State election.
He also hailed the people of Osun State, who he said behaved in a civilised manner which produced peaceful, free and credible results of the election on Saturday, July 16,, 2022, by defying “the ambitious and inordinate charge of National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Adamu, which he gave to members of the party’s national campaign council on the Osun State 2022 governorship election.”
In a statement he personally signed, Clark commended Buhari, as a leader of a governing party, for being magnanimous enough to congratulate the winner in an election in which his own candidate was defeated. “I also wish to commend him for his excellent statesman position.”
He said the president described the outcome of the election as an expression of the will of the people through ballot, which must matter and be respected.
Clark also noted that the president reassured the nation that his government’s commitment towards having credible elections remained unshaken.
“This is, indeed, a legacy which must be protected by the APC desperadoes, who must endeavour to maintain and keep this legacy.”
Clark also commended INEC’s chairman for being a man of integrity, conviction and courage.
“He has, no doubt, improved on his work over the years, and more importantly, over his predecessor in office, Attahiru Jega. Nigeria is proudly looking forward to a more brilliant performance in the 2023 general election. I pray the Almighty God will definitely reward him justly for this service.”
Clark commended the IGP for his brilliant performance that ensured his officers and men deplored to Osun State conducted themselves professionally.
The elder statesman also congratulated Adeleke, who he described as the hero of the election. “There is so much discontent in the land. If people are complaining, a good leader should listen. Unfortunately, we have leaders who not only ignore the concerns of the people with impunity, but also make crass statements. For instance, the statement credited to Adamu, when he inaugurated the 86-member of the party’s national campaign council for the Osun State governorship election, referring to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the election.
“He said: ‘We must be prepared to face him eyeball to eyeball. There is no sparing for any reason whatsoever, no sparing his party the PDP…. I urge you to leave no stone unturned. I urge you to go there and do whatever is doable within the laws of Nigeria and our electoral laws to win. My tolerance level and the national working committee level for failure is really really zero. Most of you have been statesmen in your own right, the offices you held before today, but for this exercise, take off the big gowns, take off the creepy suits and go down the trenches and bring that victory we want. Nobody should come back to us crying. Whatever it takes within the laws of the land, I say go for it, win the election. Let them go complain, let them go wherever; let us win the election. We have no apologies whatsoever for this posture because these two elections are tests for the national election coming up in 2023. No apologies to anybody, we are the party of government. We are the party ruling the country today. no apologies to anybody….’”
Clark also condemned the Co-chairman of the council, Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, for giving ‘credence’ to Adamu’s statement in his response, where he said: “…. Some of us who participated in the last election that brought the current governor into office, we knew the interplay of variables that took place and that led us to the new terminology in election, inconclusive election.”
Clark said: “What desperation,” adding that Adamu’s unguarded statement did not come to him as a surprise having known him since 1979.
“I was the national co-ordinator for the minorities of the South and the Middle Belt, so on several occasions, I had cause to interact with him. He is a very ruthless and an aggressively ambitious politician. At the time, the late Ibrahim Mantu, wanted to contest the chairmanship of the Plateau State chapter of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN). Adamu wanted to crush Mantu, but we resisted. It was also during this period that he (Adamu) was able to push himself to become the chairman of the NPN in Plateau State.
“To Adamu, the political party he belongs to and himself, are greater than Nigeria as a country and Nigerians. I am, therefore, not surprised that he did not accept the result of the free and fair gubernatorial election in Osun State, even a day after the result had been announced. What a shame!
“The only surprise, I will like to express here is that I thought ageing would have changed him.
“Our leaders must be able to feel the pulse of the people. Let leadership have a human face.”