Clark disagrees with Senator Sekibo over Wike

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..acusses Sekibo of sacrificing Ijaws on alter of politics


Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark on Thursday disagreed with the submission of Senator George Sekibo on the role played by Nyesom Wike as relates to Ijaws.

Sekibo recently championed the formation of Ijaw Peoples Congress. The group also commended Wike for helping an Ijaw man become the governor of Rivers.

The Ijaw leader said Sekibo’s action amount to sacrificing the Ijaw soul on the platter of political patronage.

He therefore said there were perceived errors in the role attributed to Wike in the emergence of an Ijaw man as the governor of the state.

He also noted that before then, there had been an agitation by the ijaws to have one of theirs govern the state.

Clark also noted that despite the numerous sacrifices made by the ijaws for Wike in the 2015 and 2019, they never asked him to bow.

The letter reads partly: “I am writing to put things in proper context because a number of wrong information was communicated both in your speech and subsequent television interviews as it pertains to the roles played by various persons, particularly your principal, Chief Nyesom Wike as it concerns the Ijaws.

“My dear son, the Ijaws have made sacrifices for the survival of, and growth of all tribes in Rivers State, including Barr. Nyesom Wike, without expecting the beneficiaries of such Ijaw kind gestures to be excessively sublime towards them, or expect them to lay on the ground for Ijaws to step on them.

“Nyesom Wike knows, that aside from God, the biggest players who have supported him to rise to his political level today, are the Ijaws, including myself. I am sure he knows the roles I have played in his political ascendency. There is, therefore, no need to be apologetic to Barr. Nyesom Wike, when there is no offence.

“In the course of the Ijaws fighting for people of all tribes, it was almost a daily occurrence with all the political actors seeing ourselves as one.

“The 2015 election was particularly tough due to the emergence of APC in Nigeria and in Rivers State as a strong force. At that time, the former Governor Amaechi had moved from PDP to APC and presented Dakuku Peterside, a prominent Ijaw son to contest the election. This notwithstanding, we abandoned our son, Dakuku and supported Wike. Secondly, the election was very fierce in Okrika and the Kalabari areas and could have stopped Wike from becoming the Governor but the Ijaw people stood face to face with the military with guns and in some points, confronted them even with women going nude to pursue the Wike election. For instance, in Ogu, where the women protested against military violations of the election. I reproduce here an excerpt of how the Vanguard Newspaper of March 30, 2019, reported it:
“Election: How women used menstrual blood to stop soldiers in Rivers
Alarmed Nigerian soldiers were forced to abandon their mission to hijack ballot boxes during the March 9 Governorship/House of Assembly elections when a leader of the protesting Ogu/Bolo communities in Rivers State, out of desperation, sprinkled blood from her drenched menstrual pad on military patrol vehicles and by some mystical interference, the engines refused to kick…
The protesting women leader and Vice Chair, Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area … confirmed she took off her heavily soaked menstrual pad, squeezed the blood all over Army patrol vehicles and the drivers could not start the vehicles. It was mysterious…. the Nigerian … had to pour a bottle of dry gin on the military vehicles and prayed or rather uttered incantations before they started. Following the strange incident, soldiers left, (in panic), aborting their mission to cart away ballot materials ….” Barr. Wike acknowledged this when he said “God used protest by Ogu/Bolo Women to secure my 2019 Election”. Ogu is an Ijaw land.
Worst thing happened in Abonnema, also an Ijaw land, when young promising young boys lost their lives during the 2019 elections in the defence of Barr. Wike, when there was a shoot out between them and soldiers.

There was no time the Ijaws asked Wike to bow down and worship them all through his 8 years as Governor of the State. This was because they did it for justice.

“After the election, the Ijaws who control about 10 of the 23 LGAs in the State, had to rally round Wike to make his govt succeed. At the height of Wike’s disagreement with Amaechi, the Ijaws had to rally around him as the dominant ethnic group in the state and fortified his hold on power.
“This was partly during his return election in 2019 in which the APC fielded one of the most formidable candidates in the person of an Ijaw man, multi-billionaire businessman, Tonye Cole, son of Chief Dr. Patrick Dele Cole. Again, other prominent Ijaw sons such as Dumo Lulu Briggs, Engr. Biokpomabo Awara also presented themselves in other political parties but this time the situation with the federal level became very tough. Yet, the entire Ijaw under our leadership backed Wike. At this time, you became part of the system and I know as an Ijaw man you played a role in Okrika to help Wike to stay in power.

“My dear son you are an Ijaw man from Ogu. Did the people of Ogu lord it over Barr. Nyesom Wike because they fought to make him Governor?

“What you and your fellows are doing is sacrificing the Ijaw soul on the platter of political patronage. Think again!

“Coming to the 2023 elections in Rivers State, I must confess that a few meetings were convened in my house on the imperative of producing an Ijaw governor which is a legitimate and proper aspiration of our people. Fortunately, the APC, Labour Party and almost all others produced Ijaw candidates.

” Within the PDP, over 10 very highly qualified Ijaw sons, including the present SSG, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, a PhD holder in private and public law and a former Minister of Sports. In his fundamental right to make a choice, Wike preferred to support Siminalayi Fubara as Governor of the State. Recall that Barr. Wike mocked and even taunted you, when you declared interest to contest for governorship of the State. Fortunately, his choice worked for this our son to become governor.

“Let me state that if he did not bring an Ijaw son as Governor, PDP would have lost woefully in Rivers State and an Ijaw son from any of the other political parties would have still won. It was therefore in his own self interest that he brought Siminalayi Fubara. Nobody can say that the emergence was overdue and taken for granted already.

“I am therefore at loss when I listened to your narrative regarding the unimaginable extent to which Wike has helped the Ijaw people. On the contrary, perhaps unknown to you, Wike has been the number one beneficiary of the goodwill of the Ijaw people. Throughout his political life, he has benefited from the help of the Ijaws.

” That is why his disagreement with Siminalayi Fubara whom he had picked over and above all our other sons and daughters, is quite sad and at times, disturbing. It is not a fight between the Ijaws and other groups. No, because this fight is actually about what is right and proper. He epitomised the so-called godfather-godson syndrome.

” This is why in this his fight with Siminalayi Fubara, some of the most active voices and supporters of the Governor are not Ijaws but actually from Wike’s own Ikwere, Ogoni and other ethnic groups. Sir Peter Odili (Ndoni), Sen. Andrew Uchendu (Ikwerre), Sen. Ben Birabi (Ogoni), Sen Lee Maeba (Ogoni), Sir Celestine Omehia (Ikwerre), Rt. Hon. Austin Opara (Ikwerre), just to mention a few, have all spoken against the highhandedness of Barr. Wike.

“He is not the first person to have been a major political actor and later come to the centre. Many of us were key political powerbrokers in our states and came to the centre, yet shun suffocating godfatherism roles as much as possible. In the present government of President Tinubu there are several former governors who in one way or the other, helped Governors to win in their states. We have the Minister of National Planning, Minister of Police Affairs, Minister of Defence, Minister of Works, while others are occupying top positions in the Senate. Yet, this type of highhanded suffocation on successors is not seen.

“Since you and your colleagues are close associates of Wike and are ready to go to any extent to promote his image which has now become totally dented at the national scene, it is time to advise him to face his work in Abuja and leave the governor to do his work. 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 that my commitment and will continue to fight for justice and rule of law in Rivers State. I would therefore advise you as a politician still in your prime to learn to follow right causes and learn from history. If anything, Wike owes his political life to about four people. Sen. John Mbata and Sen. Andrew Uchendu (who recommended him to Sir Peter Odili to be made Local Government Chairman), Sir Peter Odili, Chief Rotimi Amaechi and above all these people, Mrs. Patience Jonathan and her husband, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. Unfortunately, today, all of these eminent persons that fed him are no longer in talking terms with him.

“My dear son, have you and your fellow members of the support for Wike induced newly formed Ijaw Peoples Congress, thought of the character of the person you want to “adopt as a son”? Let me at this juncture, with kind permission of Richard Akinola, refresh your mind on what the average Nigerian thinks of Barr. Nyesom Wike:
“Wike is only loyal to himself and nobody else, irrespective of his feigned allegiance. He may kowtow and genuflect before a political leader, as he is currently doing in Abuja but once he can no longer use you, he goes into a fit of incoherent vituperative verbal assault, denigrating his benefactors.

“Almost everything that Nyesom Wike had said in public has been repudiated by him (Nyesom Wike is indeed a man of contradiction and inconsistencies).

“From the PDP primaries where he vowed to support whosoever emerged as candidate, to his vow not to be minister, to his scathing excoriation of the APC which he likened to a cancerous party, everything Wike supposedly stood for have been repudiated by his fickle mindedness.”

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