Your Advice Is Unsolicited– Clark Takes A Swipe At Nwabueze

It appears the presidential visit by the Patriots, led by Professor Ben Nwabueze is beginning to generate unexpected ripples, as elderstatesman and Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark asked Professor Nwanbueze to keep his advice to himself , as it is not needed.

Clark condemned the statement made by the leader of the Patriots, saying the President; Goodluck Jonathan should put behind him the thought of 2015 elections and concentrate on the national unity of the country.

Clarck who described the Professor’s statement as ‘unpatriotic’ said further while speaking at a media conference in Abuja,  that if the patriots believe in the transformation agenda of the present administration, the group should also believe in the man behind the agenda.

However, Professor Nwabueze has since responded, saying he made that statement on personal advice, hinting that the Uyo summit which will be holding next week is not centered around the president’s intention to run for re-election or not.

Clark said the advice by Professor Nwabueze is unsolicited, because it was not part of the discussion he had with the president during his visit to the presidential villa.

2015: Minister Promises PDP Will Win Niger Delta

The Minister of Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Goddsday Orubebe has promised that the state chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will deliver the oil producing region come the 2015 general elections.

He said this while speaking to newsmen after a meeting held at the Delta Palace Hotel, Warri, with traditional chiefs and rulers on the present issues going on the state chapter of the party and his alleged suspension from the state party.

The minister reassured the members of the community that there are no problems or issues in the state PDP but rather, they are all working together with the party chairman to deliver PDP again come 2015 as PDP is the only party in the state.

“The party is very strong,” he said.
Concerning his suspension from the party, Mr Orubebe called those going about it as charlatans that do not understand the constitution of the party.

Recently, a factional chairman of the party in the area, Kenneth Ogeibiri announced Orubebe’s suspension from the party over allegation of gross misconduct.

Orubebe denied the allegation and pointed out the several jobs he has done in time past and is still doing. He reassured everyone especially Niger Deltans that the East West road which has been ongoing since 2006 will be completed and delivered by December 2014.

Speaking on alleged problems with the Elder statesman, Mr Edwin Clark, Mr Orubebe stated that the former is a father and leader of the Ijaw people and he has no issues with him.

“The relationship is very cordial” he said. He added that they both work for the interest of the people and the state.

2015: PDP Southern Leaders Insist Jonathan Must Run

Leaders and elders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from the South South geo-political zone have insisted that President Goodluck Jonathan must run for a second term in the 2015 presidential elections.

The leaders, under the chairmanship of a former federal commissioner, Edwin Clark, said the president needs to contest the election, expressing their trust in him to further transform the nation.

The spokesperson of the forum, Ayakemeh Whiskey while reading a communique of the elders after a four hour meeting in Abuja revealed that the leaders and elders of the zone have passed a vote of confidence on President Jonathan.

He said they have resolved to resist any attempt to stop him from running for a second term.

Meanwhile, the south-south leaders have called on the Rivers state governor, Chibuike Amaechi, who was recently suspended from the PDP, to desist from all forms of anti-party activities and work for the success of the party at the next general elections.

IBB used and dumped me – Omoruyi

Former Director General of the Centre for Democratic Studies (CDS), Omo Omoruyi, was on Monday flown abroad following his deteriorating health.

Former Director General of the Centre for Democratic Studies (CDS), Omo Omoruyi

But in a parting shot, the political scientist lamented that former military dictator, Ibrahim Babangida, who appointed him as Director General of the CDS, and some of his friends had abandoned him to his fate.

Mr Omoruyi was first diagnosed with cancer in 2007, but his condition improved after receiving treatment in the United States.

Speaking in Benin City, the Edo State capital before travelling to the US, the professor appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan and other Nigerians to come to his aid.

He said, “I have been used and dumped, especially by Babangida. Some politicians who don’t like me were also preventing the President from giving me assistance, after I sent a message about my health predicament to him.

“My cancer is back and I don’t know how it will end. Governor Adams Oshiomhole has graciously come to my aid again. He is the one making it possible for me to commence my second journey.

“In my book, My journey Back To Life, that is journey number one. It will appear I am starting a second journey, and how this second journey will end, I don’t know. I am going to hospital in the United States to commence a new treatment plan and that treatment plan, how it will end, I do not know.

“In the book, I said in the life of a cancer survivor, there are two fears. Fear number one is the fear of a recurrence, that the cancer could come back. Fear number two is that one could die.

“IBB abandoned me. I let him know about the first journey. He did not help me, not even one kobo so I cannot go to him for this second journey. In the first journey I did not hear from him. I sent him a text message that I am going back to the hospital. I have also alerted some of my good people.

“I am going back to the hospital. President Goodluck Jonathan should help me. I cried to him through Chief Edwin Clark. There is vindictiveness in the land. I have paid my dues in this country and the country is unfair to me. What did I not do?”

Ibori $15 million bribe: EFCC wants contempt charge for Edwin Clark

An oral application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seeking the leave of the court to summon a former Minister of Information, Edwin Clark for contempt of court has been refused by Justice Gabriel Kolawole.

At a resumed hearing to determine the owner of the $15 million alleged bribe offered by former Delta State governor, James Ibori to the former EFCC chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, the counsel to the commission, Rotimi Jacobs complained of statements credited to Mr Clark suggesting that the proceedings filed by the EFCC was based on falsehood as such the agency’s boss Ibrahim Lamorde should be sacked.

Mr Jacobs argued that the statements credited to Mr Clark in some newspapers which arose from a media briefing convened by the Ijaw leader are prejudicial. He urged the court to summon Mr Clark to appear before it to answer questions as to why he made prejudicial comments that touches on live issues in a pending case.

The former minister had, during a press briefing on the issue of an application for forfeiture of the alleged Ibori bribe which the EFCC had brought before the court, thrown his weight behind claims by the Delta state government that the money belonged to the state and should be returned to it. He called for the sack of Mr Lamorde over his roles in the plot to have the sum forfeited to the Federal Government.

He claimed that Mr Lamorde has his eyes on the percentage of the sum that will come to his office if the money is forfeited to the federal government and accused the anti-graft agency boss of falsifying the records for his ulterior motives.

In his response to the application by the EFCC for Mr Clark to be summoned by the court, the Attorney General of Delta state, Wilson Ajuya, called on the court to be cautious and not to waste precious time pursuing an issue that is outside the matter before it.

He further noted that summoning the elder statesman at this time will be premature since the court is yet to read and acquaint itself with the newspaper reports upon which the EFCC is basing their application.

In his ruling to the application, Justice Kolawole said Mr Clark is not a party in the suit pending before his court and that dwelling on comments made by non-parties in a suit amounts to searching for the cure for ring worm in a case involving leprosy.

The court however called on Nigerians, especially lawyers like Mr Clark who ought to know, to desist from making comments on matters pending before the court as that will prejudge the outcome of the case.

The court also advised the EFCC to file a formal application to enable Mr Clark respond accordingly in line with his constitutionally guaranteed right to fair hearing.

Meanwhile, another person, Olalekan Bayode, had also applied to be joined in the Ibori bribe money matter on a public interest locus.

Mr. Bayode wants the government not to release the $15 million to Delta state government but rather to set up a Trust to manage the money on behalf of Nigerians. He hinged his argument on the repatriated funds retrieved from corrupt politicians in the past which could not be accounted for.

The judge adjourned further proceedings to 19 November at 11 am.

Clark asks Jonathan to convene National Conference

President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday night met with leaders from the South-south at the presidential villa, to discuss how to strengthen the union between the northern and southern parts of the country.

At the meeting, the president and the leaders from the south discussed the issues of violence in the country which has been largely played out in northern Nigeria. However, the grouse of the southern leaders is that the targets have been primarily northern Christians and Southerners

The southern leaders who claim to represent the 17 southern states are pledging their loyalty to the Mr Jonathan administration and their faith in Nigeria’s unity

Their leader Edwin Clark said the southern states are prepared to dialogue with their brothers and counterparts from the north to ensure that the violence is checked.

Mr Clark, who called for the convening of a national conference, also argues that the National Assembly alone cannot craft a constitution that will be agreeable to all constituent parts the nation.

He said: “We are not talking about a Sovereign National Conference; we are talking about a national conference. A conference whereby Nigerians will meet to discuss the basis of unity in this country and also to look into our constitution and decide whether it is the best instrument we have for this country.

“We believe that the National Assembly cannot do it alone. We believe that if there is a National Conference which is constituted by representatives from over 250 ethnic nationalities in this country, they will be able to produce a document to form the basis of their unity.”

The former Information Minister said that the recommendations of the national conference would then be forwarded to the National Assembly.

$15 million Ibori bribe: Clark calls for Lamorde’s sack

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the South-South region, Edwin Clark on Tuesday called for the sack of the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Lamorde Ibrahim.

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Lamorde

Mr Clark said the EFCC chairman should be sacked for his role and handling of the case involving the $15 million allegedly offered as bribe by former governor of Delta State, James Ibori to a former Chairman of the anti-graft agency, Nuhu Ribadu to shield him (Mr Ibori) from investigation and prosecution.

“I’m surprised, embarrassed and disappointed that the various participants in this matter have not lived up to expectation. Lamorde, who is today the chairman of EFCC have disappointed me. He has shown to me that he is not the man competent, transparent, and courageous enough to man this office of anti-corruption agency,” Mr Clark said.

The Ijaw leader, who spoke in Abuja, also demanded that the Federal Government should conduct a full scale investigation into the controversial matter.

He also called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to refund the said money to the Delta State government.

The $15million lodged with the CBN is now being claimed and counter claimed by the federal government and Delta state government.

While the federal government is laying claim to the money that has being kept in CBN’s custody since 2007 on the ground that Mr Ibori denied ownership of the money, the incumbent Delta state government however is asking the court to declare it the bonafide owner of the money, having been allegedly offered by the former governor while in office.

Clark urges northern governors to mediate with Boko Haram

Elder statesman and Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark has urged the 19 governors of the northern states in the country to go into their communities and identify the youth and groups that have caused the recent security impasse in the region so that their differences can be resolved.

At a forum to mark the first year in office of President Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Clark said resolving the security issue, now a major concern for all Nigerians, will be a lot easier if the governors play a major committed role.

He explained that just as the militancy issue in the Niger Delta was resolved by the leaders mediating to ensure the differences were resolved, the governors can do same for sanity to return to the country

Other issues that also formed the discuss for the day were nationhood, unity and peaceful coexistence. Many of the leaders agreed that Nigeria has come too far together to segregate or disintegrate now.

 An attempt was also made to look at the journey so far with just one year in office of president Goodluck Jonathan and the leaders who seemed impressed, expressed confidence that much more will be achieved as the years go by.