by Stanley Azuakola
Better believe it, politicking for 2015 has well and truly begun.
Last week it was South-East leaders endorsing the candidacy of President Goodluck Jonathan for 2015, this week the endorsers are from the South-south geopolitical zone. They met yesterday in Effurun, Delta State, under the aegis of the South-South Peoples Assembly (SSPA) and agreed to endorse Jonathan to run for a second term in 2015.
The man who led the charge, and made the call for the leaders to endorse the Jonathan candidacy was —no surprises there— Chief Edwin Clark. To his call, the echo from every single person present, was a resounding ‘yes.’
Clark, who was the convener of the meeting, berated northern political leaders for their undue antagonism to the south-south, ever since since President Jonathan assumed office in 2011. As he usually does nowadays, he specifically mentioned some leaders of the north, like Alhaji Lawal Kaita, who he said threatened prior to the 2011 elections that unless a northerner emerged as president, they would make the country ungovernable, adding that these leaders have also recently threatened that except a northerner succeeds Jonathan, there would be “no Nigeria.”
He charged them to rise above sectional interests as their threats were fuelling the Boko Haram insurgency. Clark said that the North was doing everything possible to shut down the South-South hence they were calling for the abrogation of the 2004 Act which ended the onshore/offshore dichotomy so as to cripple the South-South region.
For the records, these are the names of the other men who endorsed Jonathan for a second term at the meeting:
1. First civilian Governor of Edo State and National Chairman of the Assembly, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
2. Former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyesegha
3. Former Inspector- General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro.
4. Chief Whip, Sen. Roland Owie
5. Senator Lee Maeba
6. Senator Tara Sikibo
7. Former Minister of Education, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi
8. Senator Francis Osakwe
9. Senator Cairo Ojugbo
10. Prof. Saliba Mukoro
11. Senator Francis Nwajie
12. Environmental activist, Annkio-Briggs
13. Mrs. Monica Akiri
14. Dr. Brown Adasan
15. SSPA National Secretary, Whiskey Ayakeme
16. Chief Francis Dongbonlagha
17. Gen. Anthony Etukudor (rtd)
18. Chief Isaac Jemide
19. Prof Solomon Okobia
20. Brig-Gen Idada Ikponmwen (rtd)
21. Julius Okojie
22. K.B Omatseye
23. Chief Godwin Ogbetuo
24. Chief Moses Odibo
25. Chief Lucky Esigie
26. Chief Samson Mamamu
27. Adora Giwa-Amu.
28. First civilian Governor of Delta State, Olorogun Felix Ibru
29. Ex-Military Administrator, Air-Commodore Idongesit Nkanga
30. Senator Francis Spanner Okpozo
31. Former Chief Whip, Mrs. Stella Omu
32. Former Minister of Information, Prof. Sam Oyovbaire.
33. Governor of Delta State Emmanuel Uduaghan