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How Jonathan, Wife, Others Forced Wike On Rivers —Clark



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ABUJA—South South Leader, Edwin Clark has said after the tenure of former Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State in 2015, former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience, pleaded with the people in different to those outside the state to support Nyesom Wike for governorship, though it was the turn of the people of Ijaw.

According to the elder statesman, aside from God, the biggest players who supported Wike to rise to his political level today, were the Ijaws, including himself, adding that as Amaechi’s government came to an end in 2015 after eight years, the Rivers Ijaws again insisted that it was their turn to take over governance in Rivers State and this time, the consensus was general among the people.

He said at this point, all Ijaw people under the leadership of four times Minister, Alabo Tonye Douglas, insisted on an Ijaw man to take the lead against the backdrop that this was only fair and just and so, many Ijaw sons and daughters with all manners of qualifications presented themselves.

He noted that almost all of them had held top positions, both at the state and federal levels as no one doubted the fact that it was the turn of an Ijaw man.

In an Open letter dated June 9, 2024, to Senator George Sekibo, the senator who represented Rivers East and made available to journalists yesterday in Abuja, Clark, warned him on the need for caution in overstating the role of Wike in Rivers politics with regard to the Ijaws, said at that time, the people of Ijaw emphasised that it would be very unfair for them, being the majority, to be shut out for a period of 16 years and another Ikwere man taking power to make it 24 years.

According to him, former President Jonathan pleaded with them that they needed to give Wike a chance during an election year in which he was seeking to return to office at the centre.

The leader of Southern and Middle-Belt Leaders Forum, SMBLF, wrote Sekibo in response to his press briefing recently in Yenagoa, Bayelsa, where Sekibo and others visited the Ijaw National Congress, INC, leader, Prof. Benjamin Okaba.

The open letter was also copied by President Bola Tinubu; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Senator George Akume and Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State.

Recall that Sekibo who spoke on behalf of the leaders had said the Rivers Ijaw People’s Congress, RIPCO, was in support of the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, Nyesom Wike, who has demonstrated his love for the Ijaw nation contrary to claims in some quarters arising from the political crisis rocking Rivers State.

Clark noted that it was a shock to the entire Ijaw people in Rivers State and in all the other states, but they had to soft pedal and support Wike to contest in respect for Jonathan and his wife as well as for the sake of peace, said as at that time, Wike’s highest position before coming to Abuja was as local government chairman and later Chief of Staff to Amaechi, who was his kinsman.

According to the Leader of Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, in subsequent times, Amaechi appealed to Jonathan to make Wike a minister, which led to his emergence as Minister of State, Education and later acted as the minister when Prof. Ruqayyah Rufa’i was removed as the minister.

Clark, who asked Sekibo and his group to exercise caution in the way and manner they go about with the affairs of the FCT Minister, accused Wike of being a man of contradiction and inconsistencies from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, primaries where he vowed to support whosoever emerged as candidate, to his vow not to be minister, to his scathing excoriation of the All Progressives Congress, APC, which he likened to a cancerous party, saying everything Wike supposedly stood for have been repudiated by his fickle mindedness.

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