Clark to Buhari: In Name of God, Sign the Electoral Bill into Law

* Says Tinubu unfit to be president, Osinbajo more competent, urges Atiku to support Igbo presidency
*Wants 2023 election, census postponed to enable restructuring

Kingsley Nwezeh, Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja and Nume Ekeghe in Lagos

Elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark yesterday made a passionate appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the amended electoral bill passed by the National Assembly into law.

Speaking during an interview on Arise News Channel, Clark invoked the Name of God in appealing to President Buhari to sign the proposed legislation into law.

He also advocated the postponement of the 2023 general elections and the planned census exercise in order to enable the restructuring of the country in view of the endemic insecurity challenges.

Reviewing presidential aspirants ahead of the 2023 polls, the former Minister of Information in the First Republic said the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was not fit to lead the country.

He said the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, was more competent to steer the ship of the country.
He also advised former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to shelve his presidential ambition and support the south-east in view of the support they gave him at the last election, insisting that it was the turn of the south-east to produce the next president.

Responding to a question on the amended electoral bill, he said: “I appeal to President Buhari to sign the bill into law. When elections start, you will have no time to do it. That is the only legacy you have. We the elders are pleading with Mr. President to sign it into law. The AGF should give the president proper legal advice.

“In the Name of the Almighty God, sign this bill into law.”
Clark maintained that conducting the 2023 election and national census would be a chaotic exercise without restructuring the country and in view of the endemic violence in the country.

“Nigeria is at a crossroads. Live has lost value in Nigeria, the president has lost touch. When people are dying, the president should visit and commiserate.
“Let’s restructure and reorganise our country; let’s use advanced technology that other countries use. Let’s postpone the elections and census until we have a restructured country,” he said.

He said previous constitutional and national conferences were restructuring exercises and noted that even the military engaged in restructuring the nation.
“Where will you go to have elections or census when people are being killed every day? Without restructuring before elections, the nation is not organised,” he said.

Reviewing the array of presidential aspirants, Clark stressed that Tinubu, was unfit to be president.
He said Osinbajo was a more competent material to lead the country.
“Tinubu should go and rest. The mere fact that you can manipulate your state does not qualify you to be president. He should go and rest. APC should reward him with party chairmanship.

“Nigeria is sinking. How many times have you heard Tinubu make comments about the killings in the country?” he queried.
“I can vote for the vice president (Osinbajo). He has the integrity and competence”, he said.

On the comments attributed to Atiku to the effect that rotational presidency was unconstitutional, Clark maintained that the principle of rotational presidency exists, saying it was the turn of the south to assume the coveted position.

He particularly insisted that it was the turn of the south-east to produce the next president in 2023.

“There should be rotation between north and south. Is Atiku the only person that wants to be president? Atiku should encourage the Igbos, who campaigned for him. Why is he the only person that wants to be president?

“If he says that zoning is unconstitutional then he is not being sincere. He is not reliable”, he said.

“The south-east has not had it. In fairness to them, they should get it, they should give it to them. Nobody is a second class citizen. Obasanjo did 12 years, Shonekan did three months, the Igbos have only done six months”, he said.

On former president Jonathan’s ambition, the elder statesman stated that he had not consulted him or told him about any presidential ambition.

On the way forward, he said:” Let the problem of one of us be the problem of every Nigerian. Let’s love one another. Let ethnicity and religion not hinder our progress. Let’s put Nigeria first. Let us put our differences together.”

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