…Sacked police officers scapegoats – Clark
…Insists NNPC appointments unfair, unjust
Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Governor Sarieke Dickson of Bayelsa State has said that if the invasion of Chief Edwin Clark’s Abuja home was meant to intimidate the Ijaw nation, the Federal Government has failed.
This was even as he said that the Ijaw nation would never be intimidated or subdued by any government.
Governor Dickson said this, on Monday night, when he led a delegation to Clark’s house, in Asokoro, Abuja, in solidarity, while declaring that no weapons fashioned against the Ijaw leader and the Ijaw nation shall prosper.
The Bayelsa State governor wondered what the 92-year-old elder statesman did to warrant invasion of his home by operatives of Nigerian Police on ‘order from above’.
The governor also called unreserved apology to both Pa Clark and the Ijaw nation over the incident.
In the words of the governor, “I am leading this delegation today in solidarity with our leader and our father on account of the unfortunate invasion of his home.
“I have made it clear to you our utter disappointment, disapproval with the actions taken by the security agencies, in this case the Police, for what was clearly an unnecessary and totally condemnable act of intimidation, calculated to harass the person and family of our leader at the age of 92.
“We know that no weapon fashioned against our leader, our leaders and our people will stand.
“If this was an attempt to intimidate our leadership, then clearly it has failed because the spirit of our people, the spirit of the Ijaw nation, cannot be intimidated or subdued.
“Ijaw nation has never been conquered. The Ijaw spirit is indomitable. That is what you have taught and that is what you have shown all your life.
“In this nation of ours, the Ijaw voice will continue to be heard for everything that is right, good and fair to all.
“And we your children, today solidarise with you. We admire your courage, your fortitude, your strength of character for personifying the indomitable spirit of our people.
“We know that the unfortunate event will never sway you from doing or saying that which is right because that is what you and our people have stood for,” he said.
Governor Dickson commended Nigerians and lovers of what he called ‘fair and just nation’, across the globe who have shown solidarity with the Ijaw leader since the sad incident.
Clark, who recounted to the visitors his experience during the invasion, insisted that the move to invade his home was an ‘order from above’ and the police officers, who stormed his home, were just pawns.
Reacting to the news of the sack of the policemen ransacked his resident, Clark said, “My immediate reaction was why make the boys scapegoats.
“They took us to their office. My people saw their boss and the boss was in contact with the IGP’s office. So, those boys didn’t act on their own.”
He disclosed to his guests that he has already written a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari on the incident.
Thanking the delegation for the visit, he said that he was proud to be an Ijaw man seeing the way his people have rallied behind him since the incident occurred.
“Now I know the Ijaws are behind me. They (government) are all now ashame and they now know that touch me, the Ijaw people will react, Nigerians will react, the Niger Delta will react,” he said.
Speaking on the appointments into the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Clark described it as unfair to the people from the South South.
According to him, “A situation where you provide for the resources in the country, and there is no one showing gratitude or appreciation, rather they manage what they take from your place.
“And at the end, they turn round to say those are troublemakers; they are militants.
“For instance, one of the things I have always been criticising them for, NNPC is the engine room of the oil industry.
You appointed nine members of NNPC, six of them are from the North, they don’t produce any single oil, including the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari.
“You appointed 55 senior managers of NNPC, 36 of them are from the North.
“You appointed 15 very senior General Managers, 10 of them are from the North. And you don’t want me to talk about them, that is nonsense.
“So, Your Excellency, I’m indeed very happy, somehow that this thing has happened. I now know the strength I have behind me. I thought I was fighting alone, but I am now assured that my people are behind me. So why should I be afraid of anybody.
“We are part of this country and I believe in the unity of this country. But let everyone be equal in this country. We are not old South Africa; we are not in Sudan; we are not in Somaila,” he stated
In attendance were a four-time Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Tonye Grahams Douglas, Sen. Ben Murray Bruce, former Senate Whip, Senator Stella Omu.
Others included former Sokoto State Deputy Governor and former Minister of Water Resources, Muktari Shagari, Amb. Godknows Igali, among others.