Deji Elumoye in Abuja
The Ijaw Youth Council (ICY) has asked the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to parade the policemen that recently invaded the Abuja residence of elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark.
Its President, Mr. Peretubo Oweikemi, who made the call on behalf of the Council while on a solidarity visit to Clark in Abuja yesterday evening, commended the police IG for apologising over the incident but added that the police ‘invaders and intruders must be brought before the public for the whole world to know them”
His words:”We commend the Police for apologising to you over the incident but we want the IG to do one more thing to demonstrate that he means no harm with this illegal raid of Pa Clark’s residence.
“He said he never sent them and had sacked the police officers who took part in the raid. I have the mandate of all the Youth Leaders in the Niger Delta to demand that the IG should publicly parade these officers he claimed to have sacked to prove that they were indeed sacked. As at today, we don’t know these people he claimed to have sacked but in this house, your aides will know and identify those who came to conduct the illegal search of your house.
“So if they are publicly paraded before the media, then we can verify that they were indeed sacked for harassing and embarrassing our leader. We appreciate all he has done so far , but he should publicly parade them to convince us that he knows nothing about their illegal assignment”.
According to the Ijaw Youth leader, intimidating Chief Clark amounts to intimidating the entire people of the Niger Delta “which means that it can happen to anybody in the Niger Delta.
“This is a handshake taken too far. The Nigerian Police attempted to test the waters. They thought the water is calm; the water is not calm and can be very volatile when the need arises”.
Responding, the former Minister of Information and Culture, Chief Clark, told the Ijaw Youth that he accepted the apology tendered because he wanted to douse tension across the Niger Delta region.
He said hours after the raid on his house became public knowledge, he got reports that many people, particularly youth groups in the volatile oil bearing region were enraged and spoiling for war.
Clark said as an elder who had worked so hard to build and sustain the current peace in the region, he knew that accepting the apology offered to him rather than venting his anger, was the best way to avert an outbreak of crisis in the region.
According to him, the invasion of his house was apparently to intimidate and subdue him, but assured that no one can intimidate him at his age.
He added that at 91, he had no fears and would continue to speak his mind on issues of national interest.
Clark added that “they came and apologised and disowned those boys, but we are no fools. Those boys have no right or powers to come and search my house.
“When they were here, my people phoned an AIG and he answered and they continued the search. When my people followed them to their office, the boys took them to their boss. So they should not lie to me that those boys came on their own. I accepted the apology because of Nigeria,” he further explained