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Published On: Thu, Aug 15th, 2013

Orubebe is Disgracing Himself, not E. K. Clark–Alhaji Isa Clark

Alhaji Isa Clark


Alhaji Isa Clark is a Lagos based Lawyer, Coordinator of Delta South Senatorial Zone of Federal SURE-P Programme and a junior brother to Elder Statesman and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) strong man, Chief Edwin Clark. In this interview with OGHENEKEVWE LABA, Isa Clark opened the can of worms of the reasons behind the sore relationship between Chief Edwin Clark and his political son Elder Godsday Orubebe Minister of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs
Excerpts
Sir, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe has been having running battles with Chief Edwin Clark. What is your take on it?
To say that there is media battle between Chief E.K. Clark and Orubebe maybe out of contest because Orubebe does not worth the foot of Chief Edwin Clark to stage a battle with him. In the first place, he made him what he is today. Besides, there has been a filial relationship between the Orubebe’s family and that of Clark. When you say there is a fight going on between two people, there must be a reason. It is always good to ask for the cause of a problem before you can discuss the problem.
What is the cause of their misunderstanding?
The cause of disaffection between Clark and Orubebe is political. I do not know if you have heard of Delta Elders, Leaders and Stakeholders Forum. That is an umbrella that covers many followers of Chief Edwin Clark. The membership of the group cut across Delta North, Delta Central to Delta South senatorial districts of Delta State. Orubebe was the product of this body. That he got a Ministerial appointment is one of the benefits that accrued to him being a member of the body. If you can go down memory lane, you can recollect that there was a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) factions in Delta State. One headed by Chief James IborI cum Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan and the other by Chief Edwin Clark. That battle lasted for number of years. After the 2011 election, Governor Uduaghan called for peace which E.K.Clark embraced. There was a truce with both parties putting their political differences aside. What was the term of agreement? Uduaghan agreed to concede fifty percent to Clark, while he will have fifty percent to himself.
Under Edwin Clark, Caro Ojougo was made to head Delta North, Chief Kenneth Gbagi in charge of Delta Central, while Elder Godsday Orubebe was to handle Delta South. Clark believed on them as sub leaders that could take the arrangement down to the grass root to put committees in place that will draw the negotiation to actualize the intended reconciliation and harmonization of the two groups. The question is did this arrangement achieved its aim? No it was not achieved. The men in Delta North and Central did not achieve anything. The South which is the cause of the present problem was a total failure. This is where I belong. When the matter started I was there. Orubebe did not attend the meeting. It was his Personal Assistant one Barr. Osasa who attended the meeting. I told Osasa to tell the Minister to call a meeting of stakeholders in South Senatorial district so that we can discuss the modalities for which to achieve the reconciliation and harmonization process. He said I should not bother myself that everything is intact. What happened? Orubebe saw it as an opportunity to carve a political niche for himself. He shut out everybody from Delta South to even as far as to his political father Chief E.K.Clark. He held his own private congress where he appointed people loyal to him and excluded every interest of E.K.Clark. When we say the interest of Clark, we are talking of members of Delta Elders, leaders and Stakholders Forum. These are the foot soldiers of E.K.Clark. They have not benefitted in any way. They were seriously marginalized. In essence, what was given to Orubebe for the benefit of every member of the group was intercepted by him. Unknown to people Orubebe has the intention of contesting the Delta State Governorship election in 2015.To him, he felt he was creating a political structure. If he believes in the course and leadership of Clark why should he think that the group cannot work for him?
At this junction, I guess Chief E.K.Clark would have been aware of what happened. What was his reaction?
This story I am narrating took place while Chief E.K.Clark was in London. I was on ground here monitoring situations. I saw the fraud. I saw the deceit. Then, I sent so many text messages to Orubebe. He put one of his cousins, Dr Bello to do the arrangement. He excluded all of us. I told him that this arrangement would not work because our interest was not represented. As we were talking in Nigeria, we were also reporting the issues to Chief Clark. When Chief Clark came back, he queried Orubebe for representing him contrary to instructions. That was the beginning of the problem.
What was Chief E.K. Clark’s reactions against Orubebe?
He did not take any action against Orubebe. He only instructed Orubebe to go back to the status quo by replacing his people in the list.
Did Orubebe follow the instruction?
No he did not follow his instructions. But Delta State Governor Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan and Delta State PDP Chairman Peter Nwaobushi saw reasons with Chief E.K.Clark and a proper congress was held of which Clark’s men at Burutu LGA PDP and State EXCO were endorsed. Orubebe was not satisfied with the arrangement and decided to take the issue to court. His men sued the State party Chairman and the party chairman at Burutu LGA Kenneth Ogobiri. The matter is still in Federal High court, Abuja.
But Orubebe has come out to say he did not have problem with Chief E.K.Clark. He described Clark as is father. You being member of the stakeholders forum what is your stake on Orubebe’s claim?
Orubebe has crisis with Chief E.K.Clark and members of Delta Elders, Leaders and Stakeholders Forum. If what you have said is anything to go by, I will say Orubebe is deceiving the people and it is a stage manages statement. He want to make Chief E.K.Clark feel that since he has come to dance naked in the public to disgrace himself and not Chief E. K. Clark in a media smear campaign because Clark advised him against campaigning for governorship election when he is still in office. If you read Clark’s statement, he said Orbubebe being a serving Minister, it is wrong for him to campaign for elective position. He was also against Orubebe Zoning the the governorship slot to Ijaws. He made a polite criticism. Orubebe reacted with plethora of publications to smear Chief Clark’s reputation.
The question we want to know is that is the relationship between Chief E.K.Clark and Elder Godsday Orubebe cordial?
There is no settlement between both of them yet. If there is any cordial relationship between them I am not aware of it.
Come 2015, what kind of leader would you prefer as Governor of Delta State?
I will need a leader who will rule with integrity, encourage principle of accountability and good followership. A leader who will care about the need and welfare of his people, a leader who will maintain existing projects and infrastructures, provide good hospitals and maintain the existing ones. For instance, in Burutu LGA you cannot boast of any hospital with a good laboratory. Those who are ill have to travel from Burutu to Warri for diagnosis. That is how bad it is in so many local government areas. We need a leader who will know that education is key to the development of the state by providing indigene scholarship to intelligent students from poor homes. We need a leader that is not corrupt. We want a leader who will think of others before himself.

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