INC condemns raid on Clark’s country home

The Ijaw National Congress (INC) has condemned the raid by the Nigerian Army on the country home of Ijaw leader Chief Edwin Clark in Kiagbodo, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta.

This is contained in a statement by Prof. Benjamin Okaba, President, INC, in Abuja on Saturday.

Okaba said the raid by the military on the country home of 97-year-old Clark, the leader of the Pam-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), came to the INC as a rude shock.

He said this was because the elder statesman only lives a life of service to his community and country, and he wondered why he would be treated with such disrespect.

According to him, the raid, which Clark himself called an “invasion,” occurred on March 23, as they were tracking the fleeing suspects in the recent murder of soldiers at Okuama, Delta.

“The search, which was conducted in the most arduous and harrowing manner, came with the harassment and physical torture of relatives, aides, and other occupants of the compound.

“The property was attacked from the air, land, and water. So shocking, because not even Enscobar, Anini, or the dreaded Oyenusi of old were treated in such a gruesome manner.”.

The INC president recalled that on Sept. 4, 2018, a similar raid was conducted on the home of Clark, former minister of information, in Abuja.

He added that, just like the current one, nothing incriminating was found, even then.

“The INC is at a loss why a 97-year-old man who had lived a life of service to his community and country would be treated with such ignominy, disrespect, and contempt.

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“Pa EK Clark has never been a violent person. He is not known to have owned a catapult or a jackknife in all his life.

“He is rather a lawyer and crusader for justice, equity, and fairness across Nigeria. He speaks for the voiceless and powerless. An incurable defender of the  defenseless,” he said.

Okaba said it was therefore the position of the INC that the actions by the Nigerian establishment were not accidental or based on wrong intelligence, as they wanted them to be.

According to him and the INC, these are deliberate actions to silence, cow, intimidate, and cajole one of the loudest and most credible voices in the South and the Niger Delta Region.

“The INC came to the conclusion after observing that not a single person in the other regions of Nigeria with such social standing and connections to their people like EK Clark has been subjected to such humiliating and tortuous treatment.

“Not even those that came out boldly to identify themselves as friends and ransom collectors for kidnappers and bandits.

“These actions by the Nigerian State are totally unacceptable. Nigeria belongs to all of us.

“Nobody should be treated as a second-class citizen, not the least a man of honour like EK Clark, a revered and respected Izon icon,”  he said.

While insisting that a public apology be rendered to Clark and the military, he said the federal government should take responsibility for fixing all damage caused during the raid and cautioned against a repeat. (NAN)

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