Uduaghan vs Clark: The battle of Delta kingmakers

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    Uduaghan vs Clark: The battle of Delta kingmakers
    Politics Nov 20, 2010

    Chief E.K. Clark and Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan
    By Hugo Odiogor


    Ahead of the fresh poll ordered by the Court of Appeal in Delta State, it is a full-blown battle between the forces loyal to Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and those of the Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark.
    Some people call him the gadfly of Delta politics but, certainly, Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark has, for  the past three and a  half years, established himself as ‘the godfather who never sleeps.’
    His relentless opposition to the administration of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan may have pitted him against the likes of Chief Fred Brume, Professor B.I.C. Ijoema and Chief Humphrey Iweriebor, the Ogidi of Africa, who have taken turns  to hit back at him and tried to portray him as an ethno-centric fighter. Yet, but, Chief Clark insists that he has nothing personal against the sacked  governor who faces a fresh election early next year to return to power.
    Clark is a statesman who is not in want and has resisted every attempt to keep quiet and benefit from the largesse of politics in the state.
    The octogenarian Ijaw  leader has been around from his years as a federal commissioner for information in the General Yakubu Gowon cabinet where he served  with the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, vice- chairman, Supreme Military Council;  Dr.  Okoi Arikpo, commissioner  for external affairs; Alhaji Aminu Kano,commissioner  for health; Alhaji Shettima Ali Mongono,  commissioner for mines and power;  Chief E.Y. Eke, commissioner  for education; Chief J.S. Tarka, commissioner  for communications; Alhaji Shehu Shagari, commissioner  for finance, and  Chief Anthony Enahoro, etc, all  key members of the Gowon administration that was terminated in July 1975.
    Clark was a senator in the second republic and member of the 1994 Constitutional Conference put in place by the  late Gen. Sani Abacha and, again, the 2005 National Conference of then President Olusegun Obasanjo. He cannot be regarded as one of the political jobbers  hanging around the corridors of power scrambling for crumbs and political patronages from any government in power.
    Until the ethnic conflict between the Itsekiri and Ijaw people in Delta State in the late 1990s over the relocation of the local government headquarters from a predominantly Ijaw settlement to a predominantly Itsekiri region, Clark lived a quiet life in Warri, Delta State. But the events that radicalised him was the  running conflict between the three ethnic groups of Itsekiri, Ijaw and the Urhobo.
    Clark is leading the assault against what he regards as an attempt by Chief James Ibori to turn Delta State into his political empire with his cronies perpetually holding on to power at every level. The octogenarian-statesman is, therefore, a virulent opponent of what he describes as “the Ibori dynastyâ€


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