The open letter of Elder states-man and Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, opened a can of worms in the polity.
Eminent Nigerians who reacted to the 10-page letter expressed mixed feelings. While some welcomed the letter others said it was not necessary.
Some berated Obasanjo for opening the flood gates of exchange of letters, which they argued portended grave danger for the polity. In the letter, Clark lampooned Obasanjo over his 18-page letter to President Goodluck Jonathan where he accused the president of being clannish, lying over his re-election ambition, training snipers and listing 1,000 political opponents to be dealt with.
Countering, Clark called Obasanjo a liar, hypocrite, unrepentant trouble maker, saying that the Jonathan Administration was not pro-Ijaw.
Call Clark to order – Junaid Mohammed
Northern political commentator, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, yesterday, asked President Goocluck Jonathan to call Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark to order before he plunges the nation into chaos with incendiary language.
In his opinion, Clark has no locus standi whatsoever to write the letter to Obasanjo since the former head of state did not address his letter to him.
“If I may ask, on what basis did Clark write to Obasanjo? I find it extremely irresponsible and unbecoming of the likes of Clark to take it upon themselves to insult international leaders like Obasanjo for offering some pieces of advice that Jonathan should have taken quietly with humility and thanked the former president for his admonition.“
Clark has right to defend Ijaw — Ezeife
Third Republic Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife said:
“Anyone who writes should be very sure of what he writes on national issues. It should involve going down memory lane to bring out relevant facts. That is what I think Edwin Clark has done… Not replying Obasanjo will mean an insult to President Jonathan.”
It’s time to unmask Obasanjo — Afenifere
Also commenting on the letter, Afenifere’s Spokesman, Mr Yinka Odumakin, commended Clark for writing the letter and blamed Obasanjo for the unending saga of open letters.
He said: “I have read through the letter by Chief E.K Clark and I think he has served Obasanjo good measures. I think the time has come for Obasanjo to be unravelled and for him to know who he really is. I give kudos to Clark for that wonderful letter.”
Clark’s letter is welcome – Falae
Former Finance Minister and presidential candidate, Chief Olu Falae said:
“This is a democracy. If anything is topical, everybody should be free to comment on it. There should be no hide and seek about such matters.”
OBJ provoked the Ijaws – Yakassai
Elder Statesman and founding member of the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, Alhaji Tanko Yakass, arguing that Obasanjo provoked the Ijaw people in his letter to Jonathan, said the former president should have sought audience with the President instead of resorting to writing an open letter.
He advised Obasanjo to defend himself on the allegations against him in Chief Clark’s letter, saying:
“I think every Ijaw man is entitled to feel offended. It is none of their business but they were provoked. The contents are natural, allegations have been made, I think it is up to General Obasanjo to confirm or to deny.”
A terrible wind is blowing – Ikokwu
Second Republic politician and one of the founding members of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Chief Guy Ikokwu, concurred that Obasanjo should not have written an open letter to President Jonathan because he also had his shortcomings.
“Obasanjo is having serious problems answering or rebutting the issues that have come up from these letters. A terrible wind is blowing and where and how it will end is not certain. Altogether, Obasanjo has ruled the country for about 12 years. He should have used the opportunity to transform Nigeria but he failed.”
It’s time to halt the letters – Uwazurike
President of Aka-Ikenga, an Igbo intellectual think tank group commented the whole story as follows:
“… these letter writings should stop; let us allow the president to lead the country.”
Obasanjo is a confusionist – Arunsi
Asked his view on Clark’s letter, Hon. Arua Arunsi, (PDP, Ohafia/Arochukwu Federal Constituency, Abia), said:
“I don’t agree that Obasanjo is a trouble maker but I can say he is a confusionist. He wants to bring confusion to this country by writing such letter to the present Head of State… Ordinarily, what he wrote as an open letter could have been an advice even personally.”
Clark is not helping Jonathan – Mbadiwe
Meanwhile Hon. Eddy Mbadiwe, (APC, Ideato North and South Federal Constituency, Imo State), said Chief Clark was not helping President Jonathan with his defence.
“My reaction is that Chief Edwin Clark is not helping the President at all. I think he should keep silent and let time heal the wounds. I am not sure that making all these comments will help the matter in any way.”