Edwin Clark, a one-time Federal Minister of Information has condemned what he described as the continuing marginalization of the Ijaw people in the oil sector, especially in the area of appointments in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
Clark whose house was invaded by the police last week said “NNPC is the engine room of the oil industry, you (Federal Government) appointed nine people, six of them from the North, one from the West, one from the South South. Also 36 senior managers of NNPC and 17 from the South, and you don’t want me to talk about it. That is nonsense.”
Narrating his ordeal to the delegation, he said that the police would have denied the raid if not for the timely arrival of Amb. Godknows Igali, a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, at his residence.
The elder statesman said that he had to calm Niger Delta youths who converged in several cities to react angrily over the incident.
Clark wondered why the junior police officers who acted on directives from the authorities to raid his residence were dismissed for carrying our orders from superior authorities.
Meanwhile, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has described the police raid of the Abuja residence of Ijaw leader, Pa Edwin Clark, over alleged gun running, as a failed bid to intimidate the Ijaw nation.
Dickson, who maintained that nobody could intimidate the Ijaw ethnic group, insisted that the Ijaw voice would sustain its outcry against injustice and inequality in the country.
The governor in a statement by Mr, Fidelis Soriwei, his Special Adviser on Media Relations, during a solidarity visit to the Ijaw National Leader, Pa Clark, in Abuja, said “As you already know, you and I have been talking about this unfortunate incident, I have made it known, our utter disappointment with the action of the police for which is clearly an unnecessary and condemnable act of intimidation of the family of our leader at the age of 92.”
In the governor’s entourage were Senator Ben Murray Bruce, Alhaji Muktar Shagari, former Minister of Water Resources, Senator Stella Omu, a former Senate Chief Whip, Ambassador Boladei Igali, a former Permanent Secretary, and Alabo Graham Douglas, a four- time Minister.
Dickson eulogised Pa Clark for his leadership style, courage, firmness and commitment to the cause of the Ijaw nation.
He said that if the unfortunate invasion of the residence of the elder statesman was meant to intimidate the Ijaw nation, the evil plot had failed.
He said, “We know that no weapon fashioned against our leader, our people will stand. If this was targeted to intimidate our people, it has failed. The spirit of the Ijaw nation cannot be intimidated, the Ijaw spirit is indomitable.
“That is what you have shown and had taught us all these years. We admire your courage, your strength of character which personifies the indomitable spirit of our people. We know that this will not sway you. In this nation, the Ijaw spirit cannot be intimidated. The Ijaw voice will continue to be heard.”