“I have nothing against president Muhammadu Buhari. He is the president of the whole country and not the North alone…”
Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Elder statesman and leader of the South South, Chief Edwin Clark has said he has nothing against President Muhammadu Buhari to warrant a raid on his Abuja residence by officers of the Nigeria Police Force; in search of arms and ammunitions.
The First Republic minister of Information, who made the clarification, at the weekend, when Senator Shehu Sani paid a solidarity visit to him, also described it as embarrassing, but that he has accepted the police’s apology.
Clark, however, insisted on a thorough investigation into the incident, to fish out the masterminds.
“The incident is not unusual in any country where there is rule of law because no one is above the law. So, coming to search my house is not a problem, but the intention was to embarrass and rubbish me. It is unreasonable for an old man of over 91 years, who played a vital role in the Amnesty Programme, which led to the laying down of arms by the boys, to be accused of stockpiling arms and ammunitions; that was what embarrassed me.
“I have accepted the apology by the Inspector General of Police (Ibrahim Idris) in the interest of Nigeria. I have forgiven them because if I don’t there are people who are ready to fight. I want to appeal to my youths at home to please allow peace to reign.
“I have nothing against president Muhammadu Buhari. He is the president of the whole country and not the North alone. Unfortunately, some people around him believe that the president belongs to them alone.
“I don’t want anybody to cause trouble as a result of what happened to me. I reject the decision to dismiss those junior officers. I am a man who believe in justice. They only took directive from the Inspector General of Police and for them to punish the boys is wrong and unjust. They should reconsider their position and should not make these boys a scapegoat.
On his part, senator Sani said the raid was intended to rubbish president Buhari and to set him up against the Niger Delta.
Sani, who represents Kaduna Central, on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), also condemned the incident, in company with his legislative aide, Ahmed Suleiman and Clark’s lawyer, Dr. Kayode Ajulo.
“You have paid the price for the unity and peace of this country through your enviable contributions and has never advocated for violence in this country, rather, you have contributed extensively to the relative peace in the Niger Delta region, which is the vertebra of the nation’s economy.
“Your case should be the beginning of an end to false whistle blowers. Let me use this opportunity to call on the police and other security agencies on the need to carry out a background check on whistleblowers, so that they will not rubbish the country as in this case.
“As a father, I want you to take it as an act that was done without the knowledge of the President. There was an intention to rubbish the President and set him up against the people from your region.
“I plead with you to accept the apology of the police, so that undue advantage will not be taken on the incident to cause crisis in the country,” Sani said.