Edwin Kiagbodo Clark Writes 10-Page Leeter To Former President Obasanjo
Former Minister of Information Edwin Kiagbodo Clark has written a 10-page open letter to the former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Mr. Clark (b. in 1932), who still is a prominent figure in Nigerian regional politics, described Obasanjo's own open letter to an 'amiable gentleman' President Goodluck Jonathan as 'contemptuous,' 'treasonable' and generating 'negative national discourse,' calling Obasanjo a 'mischief-maker and an egomaniac' who himself is guilty of the things he recently accused President Goodluck Jonathan of.
"How dare you point accusing fingers at others when you have a cupboard filled with skeletons? You have forgotten the saying that 'A man who lives in a glass house should not throw stones'," the letter read, in part.
"My dear former President, what do you really want from President Jonathan? Most of the various issues you raised in your letter are mere re-visitation of the many things you did and failed to do in your 8 years of mis-governance."
Also in his letter, Chief Clark recalls how he has already wrote a number of open letters to Mr. Obasanjo in the past, for his 'mismanagement' of Nigeria affairs with Atiku Abubakar between 1999-2007, and criticized and commented on Obasanjo’s 'incessant interference with the government of Late President, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar'Adua.'
Chief Clark drew reference from the time of their common service in the Yakubu Gowon government and Obasanjo's relationship with all former heads of state that succeeded him to describe the former President as one who is determined to shape Nigeria according to his own fancy.
Clark traced Obasanjo's opposition to Jonathan as a result of frustration arising from his failure to manipulate the President on issues just as he defended the president on his linkages with his Ijaw home base saying that the President has unlike his predecessors not given preferences to his people.
Agreeing with Obasanjo's daughter Iyabo Obasanjo, who also wrote a letter to her father and said "Nigeria does not belong to Obasanjo," Mr. Clark observed that he feels obliged 'at this point in our national life' to refute some of the issues highlighted in Mr. Obasanjo's letter.
Obasanjo wrote in his letter to Jonathan: "For you to allow yourself to be 'possessed' so to say, to the exclusion of most of the rest of Nigerians as an 'Ijaw man' is a mistake that should have never been allowed to happen."
Clark responds: "One may wish to ask why you think Jonathan is being possessed by Ijaws in the Presidency? The answer is definitely no." He then proceeds to name variuos lawmakers and politicians who are of different ethnicity, and points out that it is not the Ijaw language that is the lingua franca at the Presidency now.
"He is the most deetribalized President of Nigeria and in most case keeps away from his own people for fear of accusation by you and your cohorts. We have prominent Ijaw politicians both men and women who participated fully in the 2011 election and today they have not been able to enter the Presidency or received any patronage from the Jonathan’s government.
"(…) Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, in your usual characteristic hatred and use of sarcastic remarks about Ijaw, you have again berated and insulted us the Ijaws in your letter to Mr. President. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has never for once acted nor behaved as an Ijaw man since he took office as President, and we hold no grudge against him for that.
"Secondly, as a Nigerian and an Ijaw man, I am proud to belong to both entities.
"Unlike you, Obasanjo, who is a Yoruba man first before being a Nigerian, I, Chief E.K. Clark, am the accepted leader of the Ijaws, while unfortunately you, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, are not accepted as leader of the Yorubas despite being Head of State twice, because you lack the virtues and honour deserving of a Yoruba leader. Your devilish and inciting remarks about the Ijaws are unfounded.
On Obasanjo's accusing Jonathan and his predecessors of maladministration, corruption and incompetence:
"You are today one of the richest men in Nigeria if not in Africa. In 1999, it was widely reported in the media that you came out of Gashua Prison very broke. As a matter of fact, it was stated you had N20,000 in your bank account as declared in your Code of Conduct Bureau Form. In just 8 years, as President of Nigeria, you metamorphosed from a struggling ex-head of state, into a life of opulence. You must tell Nigerians the magic behind the sudden affluence. When corruption is mentioned, informed Nigerians know those that foisted the malady on our nation.
"The Halliburton bribe scandal and the Siemens case were lightly touched by President Jonathan in his open reply to you. These two high profile corruption cases happened during your tenure as President."
Mr. Clark then reminds how former President Obasanjo appointed, removed and operated behind various political fugures, such as Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Tony Anenih, General Yakubu Gowon, General Murtala Muhammed, his Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the late President Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, througout his political career.
"My Dear Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, you have become an unrepentant troublemaker, as Nigeria gave you more than you truly deserve. Hence you see yourself as lord of the manor."
On Jonathan "training snipers":
"(…) your allegation that President Jonathan is training snipers in preparation for 2015 is a diabolical concoction and a figment of your imagination, as you have no shred of evidence to authenticate this bogus lie. The same is applicable to the supposed 1000 political leaders being on the watch list of the President.
"On a more personal note"
"On a personal note, both of us are regarded as President Jonathan's father. In fact, according to you, after God and his parents, you come next before me and others. You and some of your children are always at the Villa for one thing or the other while my children do not know where the Presidency or Villa is. The only position you have not occupied is to rule the Presidency from your Ota farm in Ogun State.
"Your two eldest children, Senator lyabo and Gbenga have publicly denounced you and have sworn not to ever speak nor have any communication with you again until 'thy kingdom come' because of the wrongs you did to them. OBJ, what manner of a man are you to deserve this?"