Clark reveals real reason Buhari hasn’t visited Benue, asks President to go home and rest


A foremost Ijaw leader and the convener of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, Chief Edwin Clark, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to see those asking him to seek reelection as his real enemies.

Clark also said the coalition formed by former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, ahead of the 2019 election will fail.

The Ijaw leader said although Obasanjo’s statement on Buhari’s administration was coming at the right time, the former President was not the right person to pass such message for various substantiated reasons.

He told Punch, “As far as I am concerned, majority of the issues raised in Obasanjo’s statement are things that Nigerians are worrying about, but the messenger is not the right person who should deliver the message because he (Obasanjo) has no moral justification to deliver it.

“In the first instance, he introduced corruption to the National Assembly . He not only initiated corruption among the lawmakers , he legalised it.”

Speaking on the coalition he asked, “What are they trying to achieve? These are disgruntled elements from the PDP. Their (coalition ) group is dead on arrival. It will fail.”

Clarke, while listing reasons Buhari should go home and rest, noted that the President has not been able to visit Benue and other states where there have crisis because of health and age.

According to him, “I was shocked when I heard that some people are asking (Buhari) him to contest again. This is somebody who left Nigeria for many months to receive treatment in Britain . I was shocked that the man had barely arrived in Nigeria when those promoting him decided to launch his second – term campaign.

“Nigerians don ’t even know if Buhari is completely healthy for the great task of governance yet. We don ’t even know his ailment. I think that it is too early in the day for anybody to think of President Buhari being returned for a second term.

“I think he (Buhari) has to take care of his health first. Nigerians are also talking about his age whether 74 or 75. If he is 75 , it means that by 2019 he would be 76 or 77. The man at the moment does not look healthy.

“He ’s a fine man but I do not think that at the age of 80 or 77 he is still strong enough to become the President of Nigeria. Those of them who are saying they want Buhari are not sincere with him. We are not talking of being competent or not.

“I have always supported his anti- corruption crusade , his sincerity and honesty of propose . But these are not enough to rule a big country like Nigeria. Nigeria requires a mobile president – a president who can be moving from place to place.

“For the period he (Buhari) was away, Niger Delta was boiling , but the then Acting President Yemi Osinbajo was able to go to the area to meet with the people of the region including the various leaderships and youths.

“If President Buhari were a younger person or somebody who is very healthy, he would have visited Benue State over the killings by herdsmen to have an on – the – spot- assessment. In this case, you can’t blame or fault him because you don ’t know the state of his health.

“There are a lot of things that Obasanjo mentioned in his special statement . I will advise that President Buhari should not listen to those people clamouring for a second term for him. He should examine his state of health and his ability to do the work.

“These are things he has to consider . Nigeria first before him. I know he has the interest of Nigeria at heart but he must be capable of doing it physically and psychologically and mentally.”


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