I’ve Been in Forefront of Crusade Against Corruption, E.K. Clark Replies Critics
LAGOS AUGUST 6TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Ijaw national leader, Chief Edwin Clark, says he has been in the crusade against corruption in the country long before the coming of the current federal administration.
Chief Clark who spoke in Warri on Friday, reacted to a recent question placed on his anti-corruption stance, which has been touted as an emergency stunt.
According to the elder statesman, he was one of the loudest voices against the social ill during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, trend he said he continued during former President Goodluck Jonathan.
He however said those who criticised him for supporting President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-graft crusade and had kept mum during his predecessor’s tenure had not been truthful and had been unfair to him.
“Ordinarily, I shouldn’t have reply to it because whoever is the author is vicious, wicked and not a patriotic Nigerian. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have written that I never spoke against corruption during the time of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“I said the author is being vicious because I have being talking about corruption even before the time of Jonathan. In the first place, I talked about corruption during the time of erstwhile President Obasanjo and Yar’ Adua.
“I remembered at that time, I was in the forefront of fighting our former governor, Chief James Ibori, leading to him being sentenced UK. Every Nigerian is aware of this. I led the crusade against him especially when a judge dropped the charges against him”, the elder statesman stated.
He added that under Jonathan he wrote open letters and held private talks with the former president on corrupt governors in the country noting that some of their cases were still pending in various courts, wondering while his critics were accusing him of keeping mum on corruption.
Clark reiterated that President Buhari’s fight against corruption was in the interest of the country, saying, “no matter whatever fault we find against him. Some people said it is discriminatory but before Buhari came to power when he was campaigning that he is going to fight corruption.
“And he drew a line that those who were corrupt before he came to office that he will not prosecute them. But will only prosecute those who were corrupt when he had taken office, I was first to attack him. I wrote to the various embassies that it is not right to differentiate between one group of corrupt officer and another set because some are with him in the same party?
“But when he decides to wage war against corruption I saw to it that he was sincere. Whatever shortcomings notwithstanding, he is doing a good job in cleaning the society. People are now becoming more careful than it was before even those they are not accused of being corrupt.”
“During Jonathan time I accused Chief Obasanjo that he was the most corrupt ex-president Nigeria had ever produced. I said that he left prison with only N20,000, but today he is one of the wealthiest former President in the whole of West Africa. All these I said during Jonathan time”, Clark further stated.