Elderstateman and prominent Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark yesterday tongue lashed his critics, saying that at 85, he was not seeking any relevance in the country.
According to him, some of those claiming that he was talking because he wants to bring himself to limelight against the backdrop that President Goodluck Jonathan was in charge were not born before he became a national figure and helping to build the Nigerian nation.
Speaking when he received a group from Delta State under the aegis, Anioma Agenda led by its Chairman, Mr Alex Onwuadiamu at his Asokoro residence in Abuja, the former Federal Commissioner during the First Republic described the statement by Dr. Junaid Mohammed and others as an insult to his person.
Every tribe in Delta can produce governor
The elder statesman who noted that the three senatorial districts of Delta are all one and inseparable, stressed that everybody in the state is entitled to be governor come 2015, adding that there was no second class citizen in the state.
According to him, once any person or senatorial district is qualified, such a person or group was free to contest, just as he stressed the need for synergy among the people of the state to get the support of others in the realization of their aspirations.
“We are all one in Delta State, everybody is entitled to be governor in Delta, there is no second class citizen; once you are qualified, you are free to contest. We need love, we must love one another. If we are fair and we exhibit equity, there will be no reason for Ika South or Ika East because everyone is Ika, it is a political division, there must be no differences. You have the right to fight for your right and if you don’t fight, you don’t exist; some people should not be denied what they are entitled to,” he said.
Equity and fairness
Chief Clark who reiterated that some persons were wrong by insisting that if the President fails to come from a particular region of the country, Nigeria will not exist, said, “Let no one present Nigeria as if anyone is adopted. If we are fair in this country, we will not worry where the President of this country comes from, so no one should say that if they are not president, Nigeria will not exist.
“I don’t care whatever anyone says. At 85, I am not looking for money, when I was already relevant, some of these people were not born. I am not seeking relevance because Jonathan is President, it is an insult; I am not seeking relevance, Jonathan or no Jonathan, I am there and already relevant, I have become very relevant even before he became the Vice President of this country. I am mentally alert, I am strong, not senile.
“If anyone occupies Jonathan’s position, if he is being harassed, intimidated, no matter where the person comes from, I will stand and speak in the person’s favour. I am not a child in this country seeking relevance; I was a senator, a minister, a commissioner, chairman of various boards, an activist, I was a member of Zikist movement both in Nigeria and London; I have played prominent roles in this country. So at 85, I can’t be seeking relevance.”
Clark dismissed as false the allegations that when former President Shehu Shagari was the president, the language at the government house was Hausa, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Yoruba; late Umaru Yar’Adua, Hausa and now Jonathan language is Ijaw. He said those making the allegations were economical with the truth, even as he challenged them to come up with names of how many Ijaws are presently working with President Jonathan.
“How many Ijaws are in Jonathan’s government? I challenge anyone to bring the list,” he added.
Speaking earlier, Chairman of Anioma Agenda, Barrister Alex Onwuadiamu who told Chief Clark that the group which represents Delta North paid the visit to appreciate the long age support they have received from him as a foremost leader, stressed that the visit also became imperative in order to seek further support especially in the zone’s aspiration to produce the next Delta state governor.
According to Onwuadiamu, Anioma people have been marginalized for a very long time especially in their quest and strive to produce a governor from the Senatorial district, adding, ‘’the other two Senatorial Zones have occupied the position. The 2015 governorship position should be zoned to Anioma nation. We know that the race for Delta governorship has been tortuous, we want to see a less rancorous transfer of power to Anioma part of the state.”