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Ijaws Owe Wike Nothing, Jonathan, Odili, Amaechi Made Him – Clark

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Elder Statesman Edwin Clark has addressed remarks made by Senator George Sekibo that the Ijaw owe Federal Capital Territory minister and former Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, a debt of gratitude.

Clark, a former minister, cautioned Sekibo about exaggerating the influence of the former governor in Rivers politics, particularly in matters concerning the Ijaw people.

The letter, made available to journalists yesterday in Abuja, highlights Clark’s concerns and historical perspective on the political landscape in Rivers State.

Clark emphasized the long-standing marginalization of the Ijaw people in the state’s political scene.

“It would be very unfair for them, being the majority, to be shut out for a period of 16 years and another Ikwerre man taking power to make it 24 years,” Clark stated, referring to the need for fairness and justice in political representation, and the politicking that led to the emergence of the current governor and Wike’s estranged godson, Sim Fubara.

Reflecting on his extensive public service career, Clark said, “In my over 70 years in public life, I have been a crusader for what is true, right, and just.

“It is too late for me at this stage to withdraw from my commitment, and I will continue to fight for justice and the rule of law in Rivers State.”

He urged Senator Sekibo to “learn to follow the right causes and learn from history,” emphasizing the importance of integrity in political life.

Clark also highlighted the pivotal figures who played significant roles in Wike’s political ascent.

He wrote, “Wike owes his political life to about four people: Sen. John Mbata, Sen. Andrew Uchendu, Sir Peter Odili, Chief Rotimi Amaechi, and above all, Mrs. Patience Jonathan and her husband, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

He lamented that Wike is no longer on speaking terms with these key supporters.

Addressing Sekibo directly, Clark wrote, “My dear son, the Ijaws have made sacrifices for the survival and growth of all tribes in Rivers State, including Barr. Nyesom Wike, without expecting the beneficiaries of such Ijaw kindness to be excessively sublime towards them.”

Clark recounted the events leading up to Wike’s candidacy in 2015, explaining that the Ijaws initially opposed it, believing it was their turn to lead.

 “All Ijaw people under the leadership of four-time Minister Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas insisted an Ijaw man should take the lead. This was only fair and just,” he said.

However, due to appeals from then-President Jonathan and his wife, the Ijaw community eventually supported Wike for the sake of peace.

Despite their support, Clark underscored that the Ijaws never demanded undue reverence from Wike.

Clark criticized Wike for not supporting an Ijaw candidate in the 2023 governorship election, stating that failing to do so could have cost his party the state.

He wrote, “There was no time the Ijaws asked Wike to bow down and worship them all through his eight years as Governor of the State. This was because they did it for justice.”

“Let me state that if he did not bring an Ijaw son as Governor, PDP would have lost woefully in Rivers State.”

Clark concluded by advising Sekibo and his colleagues to counsel Wike to focus on his duties in Abuja and allow the current governor to perform his role without interference.

He also copied the letter to President Bola Tinubu, Fubara, and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume.

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