A former federal commissioner for information, Chief Edwin Clark, has described the growing number of presidential aspirants from the South-West and South-South as madness and unrealistic.
Clark, who stated this in an interactive session with journalists in Abuja, said the growing number of aspirants vying for the presidency in 2023 was an abnormal situation.
He noted that some of the aspirants were merely playing double games and branded them as unserious.
The elder statesman wondered how the All Progressives Congress (APC) aspirants were getting N100 million to pay for their presidential nomination and expression of interest forms considering the level of hunger in the country.
At least 19 politicians had declared interest in the APC presidential race while 17 others were vying for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential ticket at this month’s primary.
He said: “It is madness. If I’m to be realistic, they are not serious; particularly the Southerners from the South-West and the South-South. There are some people that have gone to be bottle bags to play double games. So, when it comes to where we say no, some people would come out to say yes we are contesting. So they know why some of them are there.
“You have everybody in Nigeria where there is hunger, where there is lack of employment, where there is kidnapping going on every day, where children cannot go to school, where the economy is going down, these people were able to mobilise N100 million to pick forms.
“So, if these governors and ministers use their salaries, I don’t think they have it because they must eat in their houses, and so also the governors. But they went back telling Nigerians that their friends contributed money for them.
“So you come back to the South-South, Nyesom Wike wants to be President of Nigeria, Rotimi Amaechi wants to be President of Nigeria, both of them are in small Ikwerre. You can imagine what is going on.
“I understand Timipre Sylvia would soon declare. Meanwhile, people are asking me questions about Goodluck Jonathan and they are in the same Senatorial zone in Bayelsa State. So they know what they are doing.
“And for the Igbos, some of them, I encouraged them to come out. Even if it’s zoned to the South-East, the whole of Nigeria will vote for them and will take part in the primary.
“We strongly warn our politicians, former governors, ministers, senators, and so forth not to accept a running mate position from any northern candidate because they cannot do without us and we cannot do without them.
“That will show how serious we are and anybody who offers himself as a running mate will be regarded as the most unpatriotic and a man who has sold his own side of the country and is not worthy of being respected and honoured.”