As former Federal Commissioner for Information in the first Republic, Chief Edwin Clark receives flak for saying ex-President Goodluck Jonathan lacked the political will-power to fight corruption, the Ijaw Monitoring Group, IMG, has risen in defence of the Ijaw leader.
Clark, the most ardent supporter of the Jonathan administration, had while hosting a delegation of Think Nigeria First Initiative at his Asokoro, Abuja residence on Wednesday, said the former president was too much of a gentleman, which resulted in a lot of corrupt practices going on under his nose unchallenged.
“Jonathan didn’t have the political will-power to fight corruption. He’s too much a gentleman. Drivers of yesterday are living in palatial buildings now under his government. In advanced countries, when you are living above your means, people query you. That’s not so in Nigeria. Former governors and lawmakers are now asking for immunity. Jonathan meant well for this country, but the will power to fight corruption was not there”, he said.
In their reaction on Thursday, ex-militants under the aegis of Niger Delta Liberation Force, NDLF, described the Ijaw leader’s comment as “the height of betrayal and backstabbing to find favour with the current administration”.
Speaking in defence of Clark, the IMG Coordinator, Comrade Joseph Evah said: “Chief E.K Clark is the father of former President Jonathan. No one can understand a child more than his father. So if Chief Clark is saying so, that means he is giving a testimonial of his son. If his father is saying that he is incapable in a certain area, no one should fault his father for saying so. I am also a son of Chief Clark and he knows me very well. I dont think what he said was a condenmnation of Jonathan because even when Jonathan was the President, Chief Clark did not praise him on every issue.
“There were times that he challenged Jonathan. One of such instances was during the time of Bamanga Tukur as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party when he cautioned Jonathan against allowing Tukur to go. He opposed Jonathan on that by telling him that he would be in trouble if Tukur is allowed to go. The most important thing is that he understands Jonathan more than most people. I don’t think he betrayed the former President with that statement. I think he was only telling Buhari to be firm on the war against corruption”.