By Deji Elumoye
The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has dispelled the rumours making the rounds about the state of health of the former Federal Commissioner for Information, Chief Edwin Clark, saying the elder statesman is alive, hale and hearty.
It however said although Pa Clarke recently tested positive for COVID-19 but he had since self isolated which resulted in his testing negative thereafter.
The Forum, in a release on Sunday by its spokesman, Hon Ken Robinson, said it was inundated with anxious calls in the evening of Saturday, February 13, 2021 inquiring about the state of health of its National Leader and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Clark.
PANDEF assured Nigerians that Clark is his normal healthy and ebullient self, adding that the information making the rounds on some social media platforms is a concocted, malicious falsehood, ostensibly intended to cause confusion within the chief’s teeming, multi-dimensional constituencies.
It urged friends and associates of the South-south leader, and indeed the entire Nigerian public, and the global community, to disregard the ugly rumour.
“PANDEF strongly implores operators and sponsors of online communication platforms to maintain the highest professional standards in their practice and endeavours, by authenticating their stories before hastening to publish, to avoid creating this kind of unwholesome and disconcerting situation,” it said.
The group however stressed that 94-year-old Clark actually tested positive to COVID-19 but had since been confirmed negative by health officials, after 14 days of isolation in his Asokoro, Abuja, residence.
The statement emphasised that Clark, in reaction to the fake news, appreciated the concern of the callers and also thanked those within and outside the country, who had been calling in the last four weeks, upon hearing of the outcome of his COVID-19 test.
The Forum further appreciated God “for graciously blessing its leader with salubrious longevity, to continue to bestow his God-given wisdom and leadership acuity, still very much needed, not only in the Niger Delta region, or the Southern-Middle Belt Alliance, but also, the entire country, Nigeria”.