Police raid Edwin Clark’s Abuja residence

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The police on Tuesday raided the Abuja home of Ijaw leader and former minister of information in the first republic, Chief Edwin Clark.

It was learnt that the police men, numbering six were came from the office of the inspector general of police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris.

The team was led by one Kolo Yusuf, who said they had a search warrant that was obtained from the court.

It was also learnt that the police men numbering six, came from the office of the inspector general of police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris.

It was gathered that the police arrived the 43, Haile Selassie Street, Asokoro residence of the 91-year-old politician in an 18-seater Hiace Bus and a four Runner Car, with registration number EU 979 ABC.

The police who arrived around 1.30pm and left the premises about 2.30pm were said to have searched every room in the posh mansion for arms allegedly kept in the house.

At the end of the search, it was gathered that they found nothing incriminating in the house.

The Nation reports that Clark who spoke after the incident said: “I was in the house, in my bedroom when my boys came to inform me that there were police men downstairs and in the parlour, I said what do they want, they said they came from Inspector- General of Police, IGP Tactical Squad with a warrant and with their office in Guzape, So I said what do you want?

“They said I was selling weapons in my house so that’s why they went to court to obtain a search warrant and they showed me the search warrant, I said, go ahead. So they went down,  searched everywhere, my most important part of it, my secretary, Miss Dorothy Koko  was in the bank, they said they must see that room and her bedroom and the office. So she had to come from the bank to open those rooms for them to search. Then after they came up, searched my wife’s room, my children’s room, my other parlor upstairs and everywhere, this is what happened.”

On whether the Police at the end of the day discovered arms and Ammunition, Chief Clark said: “They didn’t find anything; they made a statement that they’ve come here with a warrant to search the house for ammunition, but they have searched the house they found nothing and they themselves took away nothing. Three of my people signed it and three of them signed it that’s what happened.”

When asked if the search could be related to last week’s meeting of elders and leaders of various socio- cultural groups in the country, Chief Clark said: “I believe because of the various meetings we’ve been holding about the state of the nation, otherwise why would they expect, am not in Delta where I come from, that militants have come to keep ammunition in my house, but no sensible man will think that a 92 year old man in Abuja, will be keeping ammunition in his house to fight the government, overthrow the government, this is ridiculous, shameful.

“I am not saying that people don’t keep arms, but am not that kind of person, I speak my mind on issues affecting this country, I believe in advocacy, I believe in peace. When our boys, calling themselves avengers and so on, vandalized  pipelines, I formed an organization known as Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF to stop these boys and I led about 100 people including leaders, traditional rulers, everybody.

“Since then, there have been peace in the Niger Delta, oil production has increased, is that why I should be treated like this, perhaps this is the time I should mention, it has been the policy of the federal government, the presidency to congratulate Nigerians who have attained certain age, I attained the age of 91 on May 25 this year.

“What I said earlier on, was that I am a man of peace, I believe in peaceful coexistence in this country, I have been doing everything possible to see that Nigeria remains one that’s why we’ve been forming various organisations to keep Nigeria together. I started PANDEF on the 19th of August 2016 to advice the youths who were vandalizing pipelines, to stop them from vandalizing pipelines.

“Oil production in Nigeria which had gone down low to about 900 barrels per day has increased to over 2 million, everybody knows that. I have led meetings with Mr. President, with our people, I led a total number of 100 traditional rulers, politicians, past governors to meet with the President on the 1st of November 2016, I was looking for peace, but nobody can stop me from speaking my mind or associating with people to see that there is good governance in this country.

“It is dangerous to say where we are going, we are moving into a police state.  What worries me is that those who are surrounding Mr. President,  I do not think they wish him well with the way they are going, President Buhari  is the President of the whole Nigeria, not one part of this country. I do not think with his greatest respect and having honored my late friend, Alhaji Maitama Sule, I do not think one police man whether IG would have gone to Kano to search his house, Why this type of discrimination, it is very unfair.

“I will never, I said it is my top slogan that when you are 70 and above, you are at the Lounge, waiting for your boarding Pass,  I would say I have gotten my Boarding pass, but God has delayed it, NOBODY can do me anything, I will speak my mind on anything that is unjust in this country, against injustice, against oppression, discrimination, religious  bigotry, ethnicity anything that will affect the unity of this country, peace, peaceful existence of this country I will speak against it.

However, Clark did not rule out taking a legal action against the government and the police.

“My lawyers will look into that,” he said.

Reacting to the incident, the Afenifere, Ohanaeze, Middle Belt Forum and Northern Elders Forum condemned the police action describing it as “shameful.”

In a statement signed by Mr. Yinka Odumakin, Prof Chigozie Ogbu, Dr Isuwa Dogo and Dr Junaid Mohammed the groups said: “The Nigerian Leaders and Elders Forum is flabbergasted by the gestapo-like raid on the Abuja home of 91-year -old elder-statesman and Leader of Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Chief EK Clark by men of the Nigerian Police on the spurious allegation that there were “arms and ammunition” stockpiled in the house.

“At the end of the shameful invasion of the home of the former Minister and Senator in the worst signal of Nigeria becoming a police state, the police could not find more than a kitchen knife regularly used to slice tomato and onion.

“We view the provocative search as not arising from any intelligence report but a sheer act of intimidation on a home that has served as meeting point for patriots across Nigeria who are engaged in peaceful consultations to save Nigeria from the edge of the precipice.

“The raid is a sad reminder of the era of full blown dictatorship in 1984 when the home of Chief Obafemi Awolowo was ransacked in Ikenne by solders and officials of the dreaded NSO whose conduct has only been rivaled by the DSS under Daura before he was removed when the President was on vacation abroad.

“The traumatization of Pa Clark at 91 is yet another proof that mad power has taken over our polity and its desperation now walking on four with all boundaries of decency collapsed for raw display of beastly tendencies.

“We want to sound it loud and clear to the administration that if the object of this intimidation is to send fear signals to patriots who are demanding better leadership for our country ,it has backfired .We all counted the cost before we chose to embark on standing up for the country Our battle cry remains : no retreat, no surrender!”

 

 

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