By Okiemute Okpomor Ijaw Opinion Leader, Chief Bare Etolor, has slammed Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark,former Federal Information Minister and Ijaw national leader saying he cannot lead the Niger Delta peace dialogue team.
Chief Etolor also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to retrace his steps of deploying the military to the Niger Delta, insisting that military option will not solve the present crisis, rather it will escalate it.
Chief Etolor, Chairman, Izon Okosu-Oku (Izon Council of Elders), Delta State further opined that President Buhari should realize that he is the president of the whole country and as such, should not do anything that would further heat up the polity.
The Ijaw leader who stated this in a press statement made available to our correspondent in Warri further urged Mr. President to have a change of heart now that all parties involved in the crisis haveagreed to dialogue.
He frowned at Chief Clark’s involvement in the negotiation team, adding that, “the militants should have known that the inclusion of the Ex-Minister of Information in the matter may either stop, delay or bring negative results to the Niger Delta Region.”
He, then advised MEND, Niger Delta Avengers and other ethnic militant groups to nominate new leaders who have no political inclination as well as foreigners and human right groups to the negotiation table, saying, “President Buhari’s strong principles, integrity and courage cannot allow him to meet with any group led by Chief Clark who claim to be the Father of Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
Those elders in the region who are struggling to represent the militants for negotiation with Federal Government is laughable: Sadly, they did not remember that Niger Delta Development is a continuous task that must be done by every government, including former President Jonathan’s tenure.”
He contended that Chief Clark was silent on the development of the region throughout the six years Jonathan ruled who he claimed to be his son adding, “He cannot suddenly wake up less than 18 months into new region to convince President Buhari to start immediate development of the region”.