Since Ijaw elder statesman Edwin Clark hammered IPOB, the Biafra Nation League (BNL), and other secessionist groups trying to annex the Niger Delta, more revelations of the PANDEF leader’s clannish politics are surfacing.
“He’s talking out of greed,” said BNL’s Deputy National Leader Ebuka Akor Takon in response to Clark’s denouncement of Biafra Republic in a recent interview with BBC Pidgin.
“He wants an Ijaw Niger Delta where people from the other tribes will not have a say like what they are doing now in the NDDC.”
The BNL plies the south-south wing of the Biafra Republic movement while IPOB runs the south-east.’;lik
Revealing Clark’s behind-the-scene efforts to suppress other ethnic groups who are not Ijaw in the oil-producing region, Takon said the Ijaw leader once went to Cross River and Akwa Ibom to stonewall the presidential path of Peter Odili.
The former Rivers governor wanted to contest the presidency under the umbrella of the PDP in 2007. But Clark, according to Takon, told the people Odili is a floater—from the southeast—who must not be allowed to rig the opportunity meant for the south-south.
Riding on the coattail of then-out-going President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Ijaw were able to kick one of their own, upstairs. Goodluck Jonathan was made vice president to the late Umar Yar Adua.
By 2011, Jonathan, an upstart, became the first president to have emerged out of the oil-soaked delta.
‘We have all his records. When it is for the interest of his tribe, Clark will gang up against others,” said Takon, who claimed he comes from the Ejagham stock of Cross River.
The BNL leader also cited the Niger Delta Development Commission and its supervising ministry as what Clark and Ijaw want for keeps.
“Even as Godwin Akpabio is the minister of Niger Delta Affairs—they are not happy. They want an Ijaw man,” Takon said, adding the NDDC recognizes only the Ijaw.
The Niger Delta comprises other ethnic groups, including Ogoni, Ibibio, Itsekiri, Ejagham, among others. And each appears to have its heroics and heroes: Adaka Boro, Ken Saro Wiwa, Gen. Philp Effiong, Col. Joe Achuze, and others.
Each group also scrambles for what it can hog. Nobody cares for others. Nor wants a common front.
The Biafra agitators from the south-south consider that a minus.
“Clark should go and preach unity in the south-south before condemning Biafra,” said Takon.