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Wike Should Remain In Abuja, Leave Fubara, Rivers Alone – Clark




Why Abia, Imo, Ondo States Should Be Removed From NDDC - Edwin Clark

A former Federal Commissioner for Information and a prominent leader in the South-South, Edwin Clark, has urged the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Nyesom Wike, to concentrate on his responsibilities in the nation’s capital and steer clear of political affairs in Rivers State.

During an interview with African Independent Television (AIT), which was part of the commemorations of his 97th birthday and a documentary celebrating his life and achievements, Clark accused former Rivers State Governor and immediate past Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and his successors of fueling what he described as “politics of madness” in Rivers State.

The elder statesman, who also leads the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and the Southern and Middle-Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF), emphasized the need to abolish godfatherism in Nigeria’s political scene.

He argued that the practice undermines the development and growth of democracy in the country. Clark expressed his disapproval of the prevalent political dynamics in Rivers State, highlighting the detrimental impact of personal ego clashes on state governance.

On the lack of efforts to reconcile Wike and the current Governor of Rivers State, Siminalayi Fubara, Clark questioned whether their issues warranted mediation, pointing out that the underlying conflict stems from egocentric motivations rather than genuine political disagreements.

He detailed the problematic nature of political relationships where one party feels beholden to another, stating, “the issue of ‘I made you the governor of the state and you must worship me’, but the other saying that he cannot worship man, but God,” even though Fubara acknowledged Wike’s role in his political ascent.

Despite his strong opinions on the matter, Clark clarified his non-partisan stance toward Governor Fubara, admitting that he had never met him personally and was unfamiliar with even his physical appearance.

His concern, he noted, was solely with fighting injustice and oppression within the political landscape of Nigeria.

Clark said, “Who made you Governor of Rivers States, today, you don’t want to see the man? He wrote about Peter Odili but later on, he said that if he did anything against Odili, God should kill him. Then, Amaechi made him Chief of Staff. When he quarrelled with him, Ameachi now recommended him to be appointed Minister, and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo agreed.

“But what happened? One day, we had the approval of theresidency to tell the security people as he got five members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, I have their names here, to impeach the speaker, one Otelemaba Amachreee. Then to later impeach, the governor, Rotimi Amaechi. There was a free-for-all fight. The mace was broken. One of the members is called Chidi, not somebody with a part of the mace. That man had to be flown abroad for treatment. Amaechi then closed the House of Assembly for one year. So that’s Wike’s work.

“Politics of madness in Rivers State was started by Wike and Amaechi. They don’t care about other people. So, there is no way, Wike should stay, remain in Abuja to do his job. Let the young man rule his place.

“What are you going to settle them for? Where they quarrelling. What are you settling them for? People said Wike made Fubara governor, yes, that is true. The man has acknowledged it. But he says, I can’t worship a human being that I will worship God to show appreciation. But Wike said that worship God through me. The man said no. That is the problem they have.”

On the Rivers State House of Assembly members who dumped the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for the All Progressives Congress, APC, he said, “So, as far as I’m concerned, it will ease out. And this is tied to what you said about INEC. INEC is not doing its job. The constitution is clear. There’s a legal advisor in INEC office, Secretariat.

“When such vacancies are created like this, they have to take action to conduct election within 90 days to fill those vacant places, which they have not done. These are some of their failings.”

When asked what he would like to be remembered for, Clark disclosed that he would want to be remembered as a foremost Nigerian who believed in Nigeria, who believed in equality in this country, who believed that no one in Nigeria should be regarded as a superior person against the other, just as asked those he offended in the course of his sojourn and work to forgive him.

The South-South leader said, “It must come from a home to be a Nigerian. So, as far as I remember, number one, I am one of the oldest statesmen in Nigeria. I was very happy when His Majesty, the Ooni of Ife, during my book launch, Brutally Frank, asked everybody to stand up, General Yakubu Gowon, and former President Goodluck Jonathan, among others, were all there. He said everybody should stand up. The Ooni said that Chief Clark is our Baba, he is our nationalist, a national figure. So, what honour would be more than that? So, I want to be remembered for the role I played in Nigeria, and an appeal to those that during these 70 something years of my service to my country, those that I do not know that I have offended, to forgive me.

“But I want to be remembered to be a foremost Nigerian who believed in Nigeria, who believed in equality in this country, who believed that no one in Nigeria should be regarded as a superior person against the other. Everybody should be equal.

“That is the Nigerian I want to be remembered for that. I contributed to that, which I did, because during the civil war, all the teachers and other workers from the South West or South East, South-South, left the North. There were no teachers, there were nobody. I was then the Commissioner for Education, i was appointed by Bridgadier General Samuel Ogbemudia, we supplied Kano State, 250 teachers, free of charge, they don’t pay out. Audu Bako was the governor; . They got integrated in Kano.

“We gave North West, Sokoto the headquarters, 200 teachers; when Alhaji Shehu Shagari was Commissioner for Education in Sokoto, North Western State. They didn’t treat them well, then the people returned home.

“We gave science teachers to the rest of the states. We had exchange of students, with North East, in Maiduguri.

“And the other day, during the COVID-19, I got a call that the Minister of Education Adamu Adamu was coming to visit me. So he came. And he sat down somewhere, because of the COVID. Then he was saying, have you forgotten your pension? He said exchange of students? I said, yes, yes, I remember. One of my daughters said, he was one of those who finished up in Government College in Maiduguri.”

He said, “yes, myself, I was sent to Edo College, where I did my HSC. And he used to come and talk to us. I said, come and sit by me. That’s all I wanted.

“When the war was over, Gen. Yakubu Gowon said, I don’t need any congratulations, that there was no victor, no vanquished because it was a family war. Go and help them to reintegrate, to reconcile and we have a station, which we did. My eldest daughter, Rebecca, was in Class 2 in St. Theresa School Ughelli. I removed her from Ughelli and took her to Enugu to go and study with them and see and suffer with them, supplied them desk.Government supplied Queen’s School, Enugu, Okanagan Grammar School, Enugu, with furnished teacher’s quarters in Nsukka, 10.

“So what am I saying? I’ve been in Nigeria. And I challenge anybody who says, Chief Clark was such and such, no way.

“I kicked against corruption because I know it’s one of those things eating Nigeria. I will be remembered for my role in education. When I was 85, I asked myself, what do I do? I must leave a legacy behind.

“Shouting on top of my voice is not enough. I said I want to establish a private University where children from all over the country will come to my village, live together, study together, and grow up together to be good citizens of their country and already, that is happening.”

is an Associate at Naija News. He is a news media enthusiast, he holds a degree in psychology and loves exploring and sharing about the enormous power that lies in the human mind. Email: [email protected], Instagram: adeniyidman