Chief Edwin Clark’s consistent, unwarranted accusations against some notable northern leaders were unfortunate and could actually generate acrimonious feelings among the peoples of the north and that of the Niger Delta who have co-existed amicably from time immemorial. It was disheartening to see how Edwin Clark, a supposedly patriotic citizen who had actively participated in various processes of nation building, could overnight transform into the worst adversary of some of his fellow countrymen from whom he had benefitted tremendously.
Nigerians began to doubt his integrity and questioned his fidelity the moment he began to parade himself as ethnic champion and an annoying and tedious defender of President Goodluck Jonathan whom he wanted everybody to believe that he, and not the Nigerian electorates, was singularly responsible for his ascension to the presidency. Only recently Chief Edwin Clark was at his worst when he leveled worthless and baseless accusations against Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima for alleged complicity in the Chibok abduction saga, and the Speaker House of Representative, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal for corruption. He had also brazenly indicted northern governors of gross inaction and wholesale misappropriation of their statutory allocations on frivolities, leaving their peoples to wallow in abject poverty and awful illiteracy.
However, some Northern leaders have vehemently disagreed with Clark’s malicious and baseless allegations regarding their penchant for monopolizing the presidency as their birthright. How could that be possible in a democratic dispensation where a president is freely elected throughout the federation? Did the Northern elements within the ruling PDP not successfully helped Jonathan in realizing his presidential ambition? It was therefore clear that Chief Clark only wanted to be s unnecessarily mischievous.
As it was, his political career has been marked by notoriety, typified by diabolical brinkmanship ostensibly to defame the character of his countrymen. He is a geriatric with imbecilic mindset whose sense of reasoning is deteriorating past. He could therefore not think or act rationally. His speeches are constantly illogical, failing to address the substance, or to terribly demean his subjects.
Chief Clark had at various times lashed at northern political elite whom he wantonly accused of turning President Goodluck Jonathan into a victim of endless envy and harassment through what he called deliberate ploys to bring him down. He had variously accused the northern governors of playing facilitative role in the emergence of the deadly Boko Haram sect, simply to persecute them. The PDP governors were also indicted of blatant involvement in actions that rendered the national committees of their party ineffective by planting their proxies in key positions. In that way, he alleged, they had succeeded in hijacking the party and, in cohort with their colleagues in Nigerian Governors Forum, succeeded in setting up parallel hierarchy which now acts as opposition appendage.
That was to be expected because the negative style recommended in running the affairs of the PDP by Chief Clark and his ilk have terribly paralyzed its activities, making it incapable of upholding the tenets of internal democracy, a situation that turned out to be its Achilles’ heels. The ensuing wrangling and recriminations which underscored the degree of disagreement and hostilities, based on religious bigotry and ethnicity within the party’s rank and file, rendered it an object of ridicule, adversely diminishing the importance and political relevance of President Jonathan to that of a clannish idol.
Perhaps the biggest political imprudence that exposed Clark’s absolute lack of wisdom and tactlessness was his unabated, spiteful criticisms of northern political leaders for what he called their blatant indifference in joining the campaign to curb the rising profile of Boko Haram sect in the North. He challenged them to establish their innocence by publicly condemning the activities of the sect. And when they did, he did not deem it fit to commend them and absolve them from his unkind charge of complicity earlier. The upheavals, occasioned by the regular clashes between dissidents, thrown up by social injustice and political immorality on the one hand, and the ill-equipped, ill-motivated security forces under visionless and unfocused administration on the other, are limited only to northern states with predominantly Muslim population. It is also these states that are at the receiving end of the bomb blasts that deplete their population, causing overwhelming damage to the region’s economy. Consequently many cities in those states are now desolate with little or no commercial activities, while learning and other occupations have been severely hampered whereas the Southerners have been spared such agonizing experience.
Edwin Clark may articulate what he fantasizes about the Northern leaders, but it is important for him to know that on so many occasions and at different fora, they had plainly condemned the activities of the deadly sect, dismissing its members as profane and ungodly. It is unfortunate how Clark is starkly ignorant about that development. It seems the only thing to satisfy his arrogant ego will be a public proclamation about their complicity with the sect. The venom of pathological hatred poured out by this dissolute tribal chieftain on northern leaders has amplified the ranting of a giant that had transformed into wretched ant.