Elders Should Promote National Unity – Aniagwu.


Delta State Commissioner of Information, spokesperson of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential campaign Council, Mr Charles Aniagwu, has reiterated why elder statesmen should make comments that will promote peace and nayional unity.

The Information Commissioner gave the advice while speaking with journalist on his concern about a open letter addressed to Delta State governor, Senator, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa by Chief Edwin Clark, which has been widely circulated in the social media.

In the letter, the elder statesman has accused the governor of dictatorial tendencies, lack of accountability of public fund and betryal of collective agreement of South governors forum at Asaba.

According to Aniagwu, the elders comments though not true, hence worrisome and largely suggest that our country should be run through ethnic and geopolitical divisions and not by constitutional provisions and electoral guidelines.

We are all aware that the country is so divided, and the rhetoric that tends to divide the country further along the line of North and South dichotomy, cannot do the country any good, hence we urge that persons of all class of the need not to engage in divisive actions or uterances.

He stated categorically, again that the position of the elder statesman is not true of the choice of Okowa as vice presidential running to Atiku Abubakar, neither is it a true reflection of state of affairs in Delta State, as the massive achievements in infrastructural and human capital development recorded in the state in the last seven years are visible to all and sundry.

On the allegation of unaccountability and dictatorship, it is on record that Governor Okowa has been very accountable to the people as he has always briefed Deltans on the state of affairs in the state. He holds quarterly media interaction with journalists in the state where issues across the state are discussed and questions asked and relevant answers provided.

The Governor has had cause to relate with the State House of Assembly on all matters concerning the state finances at all times. How can a Governor that ensured full autonomy for the State’s legislature and the judiciary be said to be dictatorial?.

On the allegation of misuse of N250billion 13% derivation fund, the commissioner explained that the said fund is being paid in quarterly instalments and as at last record we have only received four instalments totalling N19.6billion and because of the time value of money and inflationary tendencies, government decided to discount N100billion.

And government accompanied it’s application to the state House of Assembly with theblist of some landmark projects to be completed from the fund and some of them including the Ogheye Floating Market, Koka Flyover and Interchange, Maryam Babangida Leisure Park, Film Village and Zoo, Mother and Child Specialist Hospital and Advanced Diagnostics Medical Centre have been completed, inaugurated and currently operational.

The Commissioner, however, observed that, government is not surprised with the line of his comments as, our leader, Chief Clark has already made his own political choice by endorsing a presidential candidate of another political party which, “we agree and respect as his own fundamental right, but we hold the view that it is not democratically nor constitutionally out of place for other persons to also have right to associate with others which is equally legitimate”

So as well meaning Nigerians it is also expect that senior citizens should promote actions that tends to unite the country and not that which would further divide us, the Commissioner explained.

On the the choice of PDP’s presidential candidate of North extraction, he said that Alhaji, Atiku Abubakar won  the party’s primary on the account of a free and transparent votes of delegates of the party across the country.

“The constitution of our country is very clear that once a Presidential Candidate emerges, he is duty bound to chose a running mate and by tradition from the other side of the country.

“It couldnt have been the right thing to say that we should have rejected the nomination because if we had, other persons would have also accepted it.

Notwithstanding the recent attack on the governor, he said, as a government and individual, Chief Edwin Clark will continue to elicit respect that he deserves as an elder statesman and to also put it on record that the highly respected elder statesman had supported us in the past up to 2019 and had cause to commend the Governor for his sterling accomplishments in the state.

We advise him not to allow political sentiment to injure him, a man who has stood for the truth in the past and promoted national unity. This is paramount at this critical time of nation building, stating that there is no war between the north and the south which his recent letter tends to suggest. We will also not begrudge him because he has chosen to support someone else this time around.