Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Former Minister of State for Education, Kenneth Gbagi, has described Chief Edwin Clark, as a nationalist and an elder-statesman committed to the unity of the Nigerian State.
He stated this in a statement Sunday in Abuja to felicitate with Clark on his 93rd birthday.
According to the former Minister, Clark while serving as Minister of Information under Yakubu Gowon’s Administration in 1975, spearheaded the drive to create the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to other States in the West African region.
He added that Clark’s nationalist posture attracted the attention of different administrations, one that made it possible for him to serve in different capacities at the federal level.
“I heartily congratulate Chief Edwin Clark, whom I refer to as my father, on the occasion of his 93rd birthday celebration.
“Without mincing words, he is a blessing to our nation given his immense contributions as a nationalist and elder-statesman towards ensuring the unity of Nigeria.
“As Minister of Information in 1975 under Yakubu Gowon, he was one of those behind what we have now as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
“Records have it that he took the idea and travelled to Senegal, Gambia, Mali, Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), Mauritania, amongst others, to invite the Heads of States to the maiden summit.
“Chief Clark has no doubt distinguished himself as a politician and nationalist in the history of the Nigerian State.
“It is therefore my fervent prayer that whatever contract of longevity that is left between him (Clark) and God should be fulfilled in good health, strong body and soul,” Gbagi said.