By Ndu Samuel

Following the Saturday 23rd Invasion of foremost Ijaw Leader’s House, Chief Dr. Edwin Clark at Kiagbodo Community in Burutu Local Government Area, Delta State, the umbrella body covering all Ijaw Youths in the World, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide has stated that the council will hold the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Nigerian Army responsible should anything happens to their father, Chief Edwin Clark.

This position was taken earlier today via a press briefing made by the Spokesman of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide, Amb. Binebai Yerin Princewill in Warri.

The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide can report.

The statement reads in full below:

A Press Briefing Held On Wednesday 27th Of March 2024 Over The Reckless And Disrespectful Attack On Pa Clark’s House At Kiagbodo In Delta State On Saturday 23rd 2024.

Today, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide, the apex Ijaw Youth body that is comparable to the “All India Youth Federation, World Federation of Democratic Youth” and other renowned African youth groups and the World at large is addressing the press in Nigeria with a bleeding heart over the reckless and careless invasion of our father’s house, Chief Dr. Edwin Clark at Kiagbodo In Burutu Local Government Area, Delta State on Saturday 23rd of March 2024 by fearsome Nigerian soldiers that almost brought down the elder statesman’s house for whatever reasons.

While the Ijaw Youth Council has been patriotic to the Nigerian Military, the federal government by condemning the attack that resulted to the unfortunate killing of 17 soldiers at Okuama, an Urhobo community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State on Thursday 14th of March 2024, on the other hand the Ijaw nation is now thrown into deep mourning as over 70 persons have been killed under the guise of tracking those that was said to have carried out the dastardly act. That the over 70 persons killed so far are all connected to the Okuama attack is what no one can verify at the moment.

We don’t want to believe that the Nigerian military is embarking on ethnic cleansing of the Ijaws in Nigeria. The military must not forget that during the attack that resulted to the killing of 17 soldiers at Okuama, an Ijaw son who was with the military on the peace mission was also killed even though his death has been underreported. In essence, the Ijaw nation has been on the losing end on this ugly development that have plagued the Niger Delta region in the last few weeks.

On account of the ambush, Igbomotoro and Peremabiri communities in Bayelsa State have been invaded and people have been killed and roasted in large numbers like chickens.

The IYC has always tasked the military to work strictly with intelligence and not to go out of the rules of engagements. We are in a democratic era and not a purely military regime. The invasion and destruction of properties at Pa Clark’s House in Kiagbodo, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State on Saturday is a great insult on the Ijaw people and is highly condemnable.

We are yet to know the offense he has committed against the Nigerian government and military that will lead to this kind of attack on his house. This is not only embarrassing to the personality of Pa Clark but the highest level of disrespect to the elderly.

Pa Clark has diligently served this country as a Senator and a first republican minister of information. He is aged 97 as of now and has been one of the strongest pillars of unity in Niger Delta and Nigeria at large. He is the leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF). To even think that he will be harbouring criminal elements in his house is the greatest slap on his face and that of the Niger Delta people. Let us make this clear, nobody is stopping the military from carrying out their duties to flush out criminal elements, what we are saying is that they should work with credible intelligence so that the innocent people will not pay for a sin they did not commit. Now that nothing incriminating was found at Pa Clark’s residence, how will the military now pay for the damage caused on the personality of the nonagenerian ?.

Same way in 2018 that the Abuja residence of Pa Clark was invaded by officers and found nothing incriminating. Today another one has happened, what is really happening in this country, what is the offense of our father Pa Clark to the military?. Even in the Northern part of the country that there has been serious battles between the Federal Government of Nigeria, Boko Haram, Herdsmen and Banditry that have held sway for years now, we are yet to see any form of invasion carried out on the residence of highly respected Northern elders either in their states or Abuja. This is really too much for us as a people.

Considering the roles played by prominent Ijaw sons and daughters from late Jasper Adaka Boro, late Harold Dapabiriye, former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, late Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, Chief Dr. Government Oweizide Ekpomupolo, popularly known as Tompolo, Alhaji Asari Dokubo, King Michael Ateke Tom with the host of several others too numerous to mention in Nigeria, no ethnic group or group of persons can ever claim to love Nigeria more than the Ijaws. We are beginning to wonder on why the attacks on the Ijaw people at every slightest opportunity and what they intend to achieve with all these.

Finally, the Ijaw Youth Council will hold the Nigerian Military responsible if anything happens to our father, Chief Dr. Edwin Kiagbodo Clark. Nigeria is not a banana republic where people do things the way they want, people must obey democratic principles and must operate within the ambit of the law.

Amb. Binebai Yerin Princewill
Spokesman Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide.