Leader of Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, Chief Edwin Clark on Sunday urged President Bola Tinubu to adopt former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon’s eminent persons’ doctrine of necessity as the only way of resolving the political crisis in Ondo State.
Clark, in an open letter to President Tinubu, urged him to act fast to curb the crisis in the state just as he likened the situation to when late President Umaru Yar’Adua was sick and the Senate came up with the doctrine of necessity to tackle the situation.
The letter, entitled ‘urgent need to resolve the Ondo State impasse’, reads: “My letter may come to you as a surprise because I am not from the South-West geo-political zone, Ondo State in particular. “But as a senior citizen of our dear country, I sincerely believe that we have a duty to give you support and advice in all ramifications, particularly in solving the insecurity issues facing the country, and anything that can escalate it, in all parts, especially in the North-West. Every effort, should, therefore, be made, in this regard, to avert any crisis in any part of the country.
“The on-going impasse in Ondo State can be likened to what happened when our dear late President, Yar’Adua, was very ill and did not transmit a letter to the National Assembly in accordance with Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution, to enable the then Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to act as president.
“I wish to recall that during the time, the nation was almost grinding to a halt because there was no one administratively in charge of the affairs of the country. Various groups such as the Save Nigeria Group, led by Pastor Tunde Bakare and Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka; socio-cultural organisations, ethnic organisations including some northern group, the South-Western group led by Bishop Emmanuel Gbonigi, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, etc, rose to protest in Lagos and Abuja. It was as though the nation was rudderless.
“The Senate, under the leadership of David Mark, as Senate President, acted on the suggestion of the eminent persons group and declared Dr Jonathan, acting President under the Doctrine of Necessity on February 9, 2010. The House of Representatives followed suit by also adopting the Doctrine of Necessity. On February 10, 2010, Dr Jonathan was declared Acting President.
“At this time, our dear President Yar’Adua was still at Saudi Arabia receiving medical treatment. On February 24, 2010, President Yar’Adua was brought back to the country under the cover of darkness, still very ill, and taken to the Villa, unknown to the Acting President. However, while President Yar’Adua was at the Villa ‘recuperating’, Dr Jonathan continued to act as the President of the country. Unfortunately, President Yar’Adua could not make it. He died on May 5, 2010. On May 6, 2010, Dr Jonathan was sworn-in as President and Commander- in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, in accordance with constitutional provisions.
“Mr President I think there is need to act fast because we have seen that despite your good intentions, the crisis is brewing much tension rather than abating. There is a growing agitation for and against each of the parties.
“Like I stated earlier, this matter is building up tension. It is, therefore, my opinion that Mr President, as leader of his ruling APC political party, may want to amend his earlier terms of settlement. And since there is no constitutional provision for such quagmire, because under Section 5 (2) of the Constitution, the state governments are autonomous and are not subsidiaries of the central government.
“Let me add that beyond any constitutional provision and your leadership of your political party, the APC, it is Your Excellency’s moral obligation as father of the country to use your good office to intervene and resolve all manners of political crisis around the country.
“The action of the Ondo State House of Assembly by going to court to prevent the National Assembly from interfering in the matters of the State House of Assembly is also escalating the issues. I will continue to pray for your well being and success.”