Recently, Ijaw elder statesman, Pa Edwin Clark had featured himself into some Nigerian news media, saying things you ordinary wouldn’t want to imagine he’ll say despite the fact that age is telling on him. First, Pa Clark was quoted as saying the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable. I believe many learned and honest Nigerians assume that to be his personal opinion and hence refused to comment on such illogical and unintelligent assertion by Pa Clark. While the living kept quiet and chose to ignore such a reckless and relevance –seeking comment by Pa Clark, the memories of Pa Clark’s ancestors and Ijaw men and women who died in one way or the other resisting the British imposition of Nigeria on the Ijaw peoples may not keep mute. The statement by Pa Clark insults the sensibilities of those Ijaw people at Udi, those whose waters are no longer drinkable due to oil spillages from oil explorations that were mostly ignored.
It seem the first statement did not earn Pa Clark the desired relevance he was desperate to get so he resorted to involving Igbos into it to prove to the rest Nigerians that he means business. While the story of Pa Clark’s existence is currently riddled with all forms of betrayals, selfishness and back-stabbing, one would expect that in his old age, Pa Clark would turn a new leaf and leave at least, one or two good memories behind. But it seem the old man have decided to prove the old saying right; that one does not learn to be left-handed at old age.
Dr Peter Odili, Former Governor of Rivers State (an Igbo from Ndoni group)
Owing to the fact that until this moment, no Ijaw organization had openly declared having delegated Pa Clark as their spokesperson, hence I will treat every of Clark’s assertions as mere personal opinion. If you read the last interview granted to pa Clark, you’ll see how desperate pa Clark have become in his effort to seek relevance and register his name in the good book of this current disastrous APC government – as he had done to previous administrations in this country. During the tumultuous and equally unproductive reign of his kinsman, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Pa Clark was handy to create relevance for himself and got himself attached as one of the parasites of that government. When Goodluck was voted out, Pa Clark as usual, turned around to bite the very hands of his kinsman that moments ago, was feeding him.
This is Clark. Pa Clark was so untrustworthy that Reuben Abati had to personally declare that “Clark is a typical example of people that leaders in power should not have around them.” And that ““I am not necessarily saying that the Ijaw leader should have remained loyal to and defend Goodluck Jonathan because they are both Ijaws; patriotism definitely could be stronger than ethnic affinities. Nonetheless, that E. K. Clark tale about leaving politics and becoming a statesman is nothing but sheer crap. If Jonathan had returned to office, he would still be a card-carrying member of the PDP and the ‘father of the president’ and we would still have been hearing that famous phrase, ‘my son’. Chief E. K. Clark, five months after, has practically told the world that President Buhari is better than ‘his own son’. It is the worst form of humiliation that President Jonathan has received since he left office.” This is Pa Edwin Clark. If there is a dictionary of dishonesty in Nigeria, it must surely be littered with Pa Clark’s name!
This response however, is not going to dwell on the many deeds of Pa Clark that is evidently ridden with lies, double-standards and selfishness for that will probably take a whole book to describe. I am therefore, replying to Pa Edwin Clark on his infusion of ‘Igbo’ in his latest sycophantic remarks on the Igbo, using South East, Rivers state and Delta state as a yardstick of his unintellectual debauchery. In his remarks, Pa Clark wrongly insinuated that Igbo, began and ended in the Nigerian decimated region known as South East. On a very good day – minus the sad fact that many Nigerians, young and old from the Southern region of Nigeria mistook Clark’s being to schools and wielding degrees as ‘education and intelligence’, Clark’s statements deserves only a disappointing shrug from the populace and a complete review of his alleged educational qualifications. First, there is no doubt that Pa Clark is wholesomely ignorant of geography, History and ethnology. Pa Clark was there when the geographical anomaly tagged South South was created and all of us dragged into it.
Right Hon Chibuike Rotimi , Former governor of Rivers state (An Igbo from Rivers State)
Because not everybody is aware that Pa Clark is selfish, and a very good candidate on issues of double-standards, it will be good we quickly unveil the personalities of Pa Clark to those set of people who mistook him for ‘elderly statesman’ or a well-informed patriot. Pa Clark told his interviews that there were no Igbos in Rivers state. One would have taken him serous and maybe, challenged him to a debate he will lose at the begging, but Clark had already shot himself on the foot on the topic on several occasions. During the 2007 PDP presidential primaries, Pa Clark was very vocal in declaring Chief Peter Odili, former governor of Rivers state an Igbo and claimed that Igbos should not represent the Niger Delta. Odili is an Ndoni man, Ndoni is clearly an Igboid subgroup in Rivers state. In the days of Okocha versus Uduaghan in Delta Stae, Pa Clark was also very vocal in asserting that Okocha was an Igbo man and he Clark and the ‘real Deltans’ cannot afford to have Delta state capital in Asaba, Igboland and as well have Okocha, an Igbo man as governor while the ‘real Deltans ‘ watched. In Rivers state, men like Chibuike Amaechi had continiously reminded the Clarks’s that they are Igbo, but Pa Clark believed he is the right person to define them.
“Clark is a typical example of people that leaders in power should not have around them.” And that ““I am not necessarily saying that the Ijaw leader should have remained loyal to and defend Goodluck Jonathan because they are both Ijaws; patriotism definitely could be stronger than ethnic affinities. Nonetheless, that E. K. Clark tale about leaving politics and becoming a statesman is nothing but sheer crap. If Jonathan had returned to office, he would still be a card-carrying member of the PDP and the ‘father of the president’ and we would still have been hearing that famous phrase, ‘my son’. Chief E. K. Clark, five months after, has practically told the world that President Buhari is better than ‘his own son’. It is the worst form of humiliation that President Jonathan has received since he left office.” This is Pa Edwin Clark. If there is a dictionary of dishonesty in Nigeria, it must surely be littered with Pa Clark’s name!
One silly part of Edwin’s claim was that the Igbos of Rivers state and those of Delta state are no longer Igbos but Rivers people and Deltans. On the same ground, Pa Edwin Clark insists that the Ijaw in Rivers, Delta Edo and Ondo are as Ijaw as the ones in Bayelsa. In other words, the Ijaw in Rivers is not Rivers man/woman like their Igbo counterpart, but Ijaw. The Ijaw in Delta state are not called Deltans, but Ijaw unlike us the Igbos in Delta who must become Deltans and not Igbo. In this line of thinking, Pa Edwin Clark is not alone, with him are many gullible humans in our region. One would have asked Pa Clark exactly why the Ijaw outside Bayelsa are Ijaw while the Igbo outside South East are no longer Igbo, but then Pa Clark was not honestly gullible. His double-standard is well intended and we have seen enough of it already. The right question is why did Pa Clark tag Ibe Kachikwu, Peter Odili and Okocha Igbos when it helped him deny them of their political ambitions and untagged them when it favors him? The answer remains the same: Pa Clark is a liar. One more thing: while did Asaba become Igboland when it suits Clark and becomes just ‘Delta’ when it suits him also?
Dr Ibe Kachikwu, GMD, NNPC an Igbo from Delta state
I will advise the handlers of Pa Edwin Clark to guide him accordingly especially now that people’s utterances are recorded in the internet. It is not the duty of Pa Clark to tell us when to be Igbo and when not to be. He should focus more on helping his Ijaw people get at least clean environments devoid of oil spillages from the federal government. He should not be allowed to publicly display his ugly linen in public. Even a kid would laugh at Clark claiming that A Chinwendu in Asaba is more related to a Pa Edwin Clark or a Diepriye of Bayelsa than another Chinwendu from Onitsha. Maybe Pa Clark is not intelligent enough to know who is his ethnic brothers and sisters and depends on the Nigerian political boundary makers to tell him who his ethnic brothers are. Evidently, if a new boundary adjustment is made including Ondo state in South South, Yoruba people will probably become ethnic brothers and sisters to the old man and his like. We know our ethnic brothers and sisters when we see them.
Chief Ralph Uwechue, (late) Ex Ohaneze President from Delta State
And to those forming a RONDEL, this goes out to you: if you depend on the Nigerian political mapping to know who your ethnic brothers and sister are, you are simply gullible and mostly ignorant. To Pa Clark, your current age deserves rest. Go and have a lot of rest. If there is anything a youth can learn from Clark, it is to avoid everything that Pa Clark did.
By Chiwndu Carlos…
an Igbo from Delta.