A former federal commissioner for information and leader of the South-South Peoples Assembly, Chief Edwin Clark has accused Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State of dramatizing the crisis in the state.
Also, the Ijaw leader faulted the elevation of the political crisis in Rivers State to a national issue, saying it is a ‘shame’ that what should ordinarily have been a local issue is being given attention in national discourse.
The elder statesman also said that Ijaw leaders will mediate in the crisis between Bayelsa and Rivers over the Soku oil wells.
Clark made this known on Wednesday night at the opening of the one day expanded National Working Committee of the South South Peoples Assembly, held in Asokoro, Abuja.
According to him, “the governor of River State is dramatizing the crisis in the state and he just wants support. And some distractors and opponents of this government are using the Rivers state issue to create crisis in the country. What is happening in the state is between two factions and nobody has been killed.
“We have sat here on two occasions to discuss Rivers problem. It is a shame that the problem of Rivers State has now become a national issue. It is true that Rivers is part of Nigeria, is Ogun State not also part of Nigeria? Recently, people were killed even within one party. What happened in Ekiti State where people were killed? How many people have been killed in Rivers State?
“The Senator who flew to London, it has been discovered that he was pretending, he was not shot at, he was not injured”.
While commending the people of Rivers State for their unalloyed support for President Goodluck Jonathan, Clark pleaded that the president be absolved of any blame regarding the role being played by the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Joseph Mbu in the crisis.
Clark, who also touched on the raging controversy over the ownership of oil wells between Bayelsa and Rivers, said it should not be another issue for campaign as the Ijaw leaders have decided to step into the matter.
He explained that “after consultations with Ijaw leaders, we have decided as leaders to takeover this matter to call the two sides together. And so I am appealing to the government of Baylesa and Rivers to handoff this problem of the oil between the states”.
Clark also pleaded that Jonathan’s name should not be dragged into the matter, arguing that “this is not the first time there will be crisis over oil issue. There have been crisis between Akwa-Ibom and Cross River, Akwa-Ibom and Rivers and Abia and Rivers. In all these there was never a time the president’s name was mentioned. So why is it that today the president’s name is being mentioned as if he is the one causing the problem? We are taking over this issue from the government”.