Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Seriake Dickson, has condemned in strong terms the police raid on the Abuja residence of Ijaw national leader and elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark.
Dickson insisted that those who committed the act, which he described as reprehensible, must not only be brought to book, but must be seen to have been punished by Nigerians.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, in a statement in Yenagoa, said the governor expressed deep anger over the incident, describing it as shocking and condemnable.
Dickson said the action smacked of so much desperation, callousness and insensitivity in a country under democratic governance.
He added that the action of the police showed lack of respect for the leaders in Nigeria and the people of the Niger Delta who have made sustained efforts to ensure the prevalence of peace in the region.
The governor wondered how the police and indeed any security agency could associate a 92-year old man and acclaimed leader of the Niger Delta with gun-running.
He stressed that it was inconceivable, preposterous and indeed callous on the part of anybody or agency to associate the the former Federal Commissioner for Information with such an act.
He said, “I condemn in very strong terms the recent raid on the residence of Ijaw National Leader, our father, Chief Edwin Clark.
“The police action signifies the height of callousness, insensitivity, and embarrassment not only to the person of the 92-year-old leader but also to the Niger Delta and indeed all Nigerians of good conscience.
“It is shocking, inconceivable and preposterous for anybody to associate Pa Clark, a former federal commissioner, and senator and a Leader of his people with gunrunning at the age of 92. This is sad and unacceptable”.
Meanwhile, Ijaw youths under the auspices of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide, yesterday rejected the apology rendered by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, describing it as an afterthought.
Addressing journalists after a marathon session called by the leaders of the organisation at the headquarters in Yenagoa, President of the group, Mr. Pereotubo Oweilaemi, alleged that the action by the police was a deliberate attempt to embarrass the Niger Delta people.
Flanked by other Niger Delta leaders like Ms Ankio Briggs, Secretary General of the IYC, Alfred Kemepado and the South South Ohanaeze Youth Council, (OYC) Chairman, Arthur Ngwa, who was on a solidarity visit, Oweilaemi, noted that the police were only testing the waters.
“This is an attempt to intimidate him (Clark) and by extension the Niger Delta. They are testing the waters to know if it is calm. It is not quiet. There are still sharks, octopuses, whales and other dangerous animals in this river.
“If they dare the Ijaw nation, the repercussion is going to be massive and destructive. The Ijaw can never be conquered. This action is unacceptable.
“We heard the IG has rendered a doctored apology, an afterthought. I have spoken with Pa Clark who said we should take it easy, but that’s personal to him. Before he became a national leader, he is an Ijaw son. We do not accept the apology by the police,” he said.