An Open Letter By Chief (Dr) Edwin Kiagbodo Clarke to the Former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR
Re: Your Mischievous and Malicious tirade against the Ijaws
I received several calls from Nigeria recently while in London about a new book being presented by Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi former Special Advisor on Media to our most revered late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. Olusegun Adeniyi had earlier written a book after the death of his master President Yar’Adua. In that book titled “Power, Politics and Death” he made some very unpalatable remarks about you the former President of Nigeria who nominated and sponsored President Yar’Adua’s presidency. Olusegun Adeniyi later apologized to you for the unpalatable statements he made against you and promised not to do so again. That was not enough; he later wrote an apology to you in Lagos and promised to make amends. I am therefore not surprised that Olusegun Adeniyi has now fulfilled his promise to you by writing a new book titled “Against the Run of Play” where he now used his new book to give you more room to insult the Ijaw people and to authenticate your three volume book “Under my Watch”. For instance some of the statements you made against me in your book “Under My Watch” were the same statements you repeated in Olusegun Adeniyi’s book which is an arrangement between the two of you to condemn the Ijaws and to incite other Nigerian leaders to disparage the Ijaw leaders particularly myself and the younger ones like Asari Dokubo whom you kept in prison for 2 years without trial until we begged you to release him. Otherwise, in your narration in Olusegun Adeniyi’s new book there’s nothing you said which you had not said in you despicable and false and self-aggrandised book containing assertions and character which you do not possess yet you are assassinating the character and libelling of patriotic and decent leaders and people of Nigeria including innocent late President Yar’Adua and President Jonathan. What character has a man who was a head of state and president of a country with over 180 million people and who is now 80 years old being accused by his own eldest son Mr. Gbenga Obasanjo of sleeping with his wife and thereby doubting the paternity of his children and leading to the divorce of the marriage of which you did not show any remorse. What character has this man? Your eldest daughter Senator Iyabo Obasanjo whom you alleged in your book “under my watch” that she was been used by the government to assassinate your character. Again I ask what character has this man. However you concluded that Iyabo fell into the trap of the government because she has the same character as her mother.
Dr Jonathan was my candidate and I have a right to campaign for him using the usual campaign languages used by all politicians and there was nothing that we said to infuriate or to insult Nigerian as you are falsely and maliciously impressing on Nigerians. For instance you said in Olusegun Adeniyi’s book that the late DSP Alamieyeseigha former governor of Bayelsa state, whom you hated and destroyed, had no reason to say “that there’s no vacancy in Aso rock on 21st may 2013 when he was campaigning for Jonathan”. Whereas another PDP leader from Niger state Governor Babangida Aliyu also stated on 18th September 2014 that there was no vacancy in Aso Rock when he was addressing youths of Niger state who wanted him to contest the Presidency. Whereas also in 2003 Chief Anthony Anenih also declared there was no vacancy in Aso Rock because you must be returned as President of Nigeria. The same Anenih told Atiku during his campaign for Jonathan in 2014 that there was no vacancy in Aso Rock in 2015. As Nigerians, we are free to campaign for any candidate we believe in whether he or she is from our ethnic nationality, from our zone, from our state or the same religion as us and or political party. This is the situation all over the world.
In the 1960’s for instance, during the presidential campaign in the United States of America, John F Kennedy who was the presidential candidate of the democratic party had his campaign carried out by his younger brother Robert Kennedy and whom he later appointed as the Attorney General of the United States of America before his assassination in November 22 1963. In Nigeria, wives and relations of presidential candidates campaigned for them as late Stella Obasanjo did during your elections in 2003. I remember Stella phoned me in 2003 on the eve of the convention of the PDP, to support youthat you had one more term to go. And requested me to appeal to my Governor Chief James Ibori and Governor Lucky Igbinedion of Edo state and Governor Obong Attah of Akwa Ibom state not to support vice president Atiku who was trying to overthrow you from office.Statements were made by your supporters against your opponent particularly against Atiku; and against some of the governors from the south-south like DSP Alamieyeseigha including Ibori to the extent of manipulating a case against Ibori that he was an ex-convict in an area court in Abuja during Abacha’s administration. In the case of DSP Alamieyeseigha you hated so much because who was alleged to be Atiku’s running mate and this were allegations made by you at that time by you an evil manipulative Machiavelli called Obasanjo.
Now according to Adeniyi you rejected the candidature of former President Jonathanbecause relationship between you and former President Jonathan had souredand at a meeting with you in your Otta farm which was attended by Pastor Adeboye, the General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church and Bishop David Oyedepo of Winner’s Chapel, you gave the following reasons for rejecting Jonathan as follows
1. Zoning – that Jonathan refused to keep to the terms of zoning whereby a Northerner should now be the presidential candidate of PDP and not Jonathan.
2. That Jonathan had not performed credibly as president. You said you only wanted what is good for the betterment of Nigeria; you said you did not consider Jonathan good enough and you told Jonathan to his face.
Isn’t it just hypocritical that you mentioned zoning as one of the areas where you hated Jonathan? You area hypocrite and dishonest, a man who only believes in himself and no one else. You served Nigeria as a head of state from 1976 to 1979 before you handed over to President Shehu Shagari. Then you came back in 1999 and served Nigeria for eight years in two terms as an elected President, againyou said you wanted a third term and spent Nigerian money in lobbying for a third term. At that time zoning did not occur to you. You are a hypocrite I say again, dishonorable and sadist always wanting the downfall of others; you area man who should not be believed by any Nigerian. You parade yourself all over the country and world as a saint and the best President Nigeria has ever had. What a fraudulent claim.
You told Adeniyi that your rejection of Jonathan was a culmination of misdeeds by Jonathan over the years. On 3 April, 2012 you resigned as the chairman of the Board of Trustees of PDP to show your disdain for Jonathan and 2 months later you condemned Jonathan’s inability to fight corruption in Nigeria.
You carried your campaign of calumny against Jonathan to an international conference held in Switzerland in Club de Madrid, where you lambasted Jonathan for ineffectiveness, rudeness and corrupt practices.
3. Another area of disagreement is the pipeline protection initiation of the Jonathan administration, where you accused Jonathan of wanting to establish an agency for pipeline protection; you thought this was wrong because this was another way of creating areas for corruption. You felt that this was a job for the police or the security agencies but you failed to realize that the issue of pipeline agency has been a long standing issue before Jonathan came into office in 2010. Ata meeting of Niger Delta leaders at Aso Rock with youin 2001, where the issue of militancy and fratricidalwar in Warri were discussed I raised the issue of pipeline vandalisation and how to protect it, I said it was wrong for oil companies like Shell and Chevron to employ individuals to supervise pipeline and that it should be given to the youths in every oil producing community to look after and whoever allows vandalistation to continue in their area should be penalized and you bought the idea and called on the NDDC to initiate the plan but that never took place. It was our appeal to the oil companies whose contractors were being molested by the communities that later agreed that the pipeline surveillance should be given to the youths in the various oil communities. And oil companies farmed out pipeline surveillance to the youths and this produced a very successful result and the youths were engaged. In that same meeting I accused top military officers, particularly the Navy of being involved in oil bunkering and stealing and you therefore appointed our most respected General TY Danjuma to investigate my allegation with the Obi of Owa Kingdom, HRM Emmanuel Efeizomor II, as member. I was vindicated by TY Danjuma’s report. All of these were before Yar’Adua and Jonathans’ administration.
After the amnesty, it was also negotiated and agreed that the militant leaders should now supervise the pipelines but unfortunately it did not succeed and the contract was cancelled. For some time the pipeline remained unattended to, it was towards the end of Jonathans’ administration that the contract was re-awarded to various youth organisations which the incoming government of President Muhammadu Buhari cancelled.
4. Boko Haram: Another criticism you made against Jonathan was Jonathan’s way of handling Boko Haram and that Jonathan was not interested in accountability and that if Jonathan was therefore allowed to continue in 2015 it would no doubt damage the whole country. And that Jonathan and his people turned Boko Haram into an industry for making money. I think this is very uncharitable and dishonest of you, you should name how Jonathan and his people turned Boko Haram into a money making industry and who are his people that benefited from that industry.
You are indeed very deceitful and fraudulent in commenting on the Boko Haram, it should be remembered that you yourself went to Maiduguri on two occasions and you did not report to Mr. President the objective of your mission to Maiduguri in the north east instead of reporting the outcome of your mission to Mr.President,you used it as a political score point and personal aggrandizement.
Olusegun Adeniyi also noted that you had advised early in the life of Jonathans’ administration that Jonathan needed to pay more attention to the Boko Haram insurgents and the advice was ignored. Who is lying? Is it you or is it the author Adeniyi? Is it after your visit to Maiduguri which led to more killing of Boko Haram people particularly the father in law of Yusuf or your second visit? Was that the time you told the president to show more concern on the Boko Haram affair?
I’m surprised that you had to advise Mr. President on such a serious matter like Boko Haram at a gathering to mark the 40th anniversary of Pastor Ayo OristseJafor Pastoring. You had every access to Aso Rock both in the day and at night and some of your children were in fact living with Jonathan in Aso Rock which my own Children did not do.
It must be observed that Boko Haram came to being in 2002 when youwere the president and commander in chief of the armed forces of Nigeria. As usual and for reasons best known to you, you did nothing about it as you did not do anything about Sharia when the governor of Zamfara state Yerima legalized Sharia in his state, and other northern states were agitating to the introduction sharia in their state; and you did not see any danger in that in a country which is secular. It must be noted that in 2009, when Boko Haram attacked in the north east, Jonathan had not become the president of Nigeria. And the period of 2009 to 2010 when Yara’dua was in Saudi Arabia, Jonathan was not in a position to do anything about Boko Haram because the Cabal was in power.
5. “Clannishness and promotion of Ijaw triumphalism” The most important accusation you made against Jonathan is “clannishness and promotion of Ijaw triumphalism which you described as sickening”. You said you asked Jonathan “what is this thing all about, can Ijaw people make you president? Youfurther accused Jonathan of granting pardon to DSP Alamieyeseigha former governor of Bayelsa state convicted for corruption and that this hasbecome an international embarrassment to Nigeria.
I am not surprised becauseyouhatred and destroyed DSP Alamieyeseigha until his death simply because he wanted to be a running mate to Atiku in 2003. Your lover boy, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who was deputy was promoted to high heaven by you to the extent of making him a chief of Owu in Abeokuta. You sent Federal attorney generals Chief Daudu to London to prosecute DSP Alamieyeseigha in the British court and masterminded the impeachment of DSP Alamieyeseigha and immediately after the kangaroo impeachment DSP Alamieyeseigha was handcuffed by security men and flown to Abuja where he remained in prison until Yar’Adua released him.
Meanwhile you were blackmailing and collecting money from some governors in the south-south states whom you had earlier accused of corruption to sponsor the candidature of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and which they did even though you knew that it was state money that they were using for this purpose.
I remember pleading with you to release DSP Alamieyeseigha because of the surgery he had in his stomach, you snapped back at me in the presence of Dr. Jonathan and Ambassador Igalli that DSP Alamieyeseigha did the surgery in other to beautify himself by reducing his stomach, liposuction and a tommy tuck.Ironically your wife Mrs. Stella Obasanjo, died in Spain while ongoing a similar surgery.
Together with the author you noted that the public conduct of some Ijaw men such as ex militant Mujahid Asari Dokubo and myself, Chief Edwin Clarke damaged the image of Jonathan and that of his administration. Mr. Adeniyi on his own in order to comply with your conspiracy observed the fact that Mr. Jonathan not restraining myself and Dokubo created the impression that he was supporting what we were saying and doing. And this is exactly what you said in your book “under my watch”. “For instance, in May 2013 recalls Adeniyi, Dokubo said Niger Delta militants will throw the country into chaos if Mr. Jonathan was not re-elected in 2015. And then again Dokubo declared on September 9, 2013, that Jonathan’s presidential ambition in 2015 was already settled. The way things are going there is no sitting on the fence in the battle before us. All of us will have to be in the ring and fight. 2015 is already a settled matter Goodluck Jonathan will be president of Nigeria in 2015 as Dokubo declared.
A few days later you and the author quoted me as saying “Jonathan would remain president in 2015 because it was not yet the turn of the North. In the constitution of Nigeria every president has two elections to be contested. Alhaji Shehu Shagari did it in 1979 and 1983. In 1999 and 2003you Chief Olusegun Obasanjo did it. In 2007 Umaru Musa Yar’Adua of blessed memory did it and if he had remained alive he would have done it again in 2011. So Jonathan has the right to contest again, this is an incumbent that has not done a second term. It is not yet the turn of northerners, they have the right to contest as Nigerians. Yes, but in other parties I said.” At the same time the former governor of Bayelsa state DSP Alamieyeseigha said Aso Rock is not vacant, the northern agitators will all at the appropriate time join the moving train. They have other options but I can assure you that president Jonathan will remain as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come 2015.
But you the Machiavelli did not see anything wrong in similar statements made at the same by other Nigerians or northern leaders. Such as follows:
“President Goodluck Jonathan should no contemplate contesting the 2011 presidential election. Any attempt by him to contest amounts to incitement and a recipe for political instability”.
Lawal keita a former governor of Kaduna state, an elder statesman who is over 80 years old:also said,
“The north is determined, if it happens, we will make the country ungovernable for President Jonathan or any other southerner who finds his way to the seat or power on the platform of the PDP….Jonathan has to go and he will go. Even if he uses incumbency power to get his nomination on the platform of the PDP he would be frustrated out”.
Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd):
“There may be no Nigeria. I draw parallel with Somalia so many times (Somalisation of Nigeria)”
Mallam Adamu Ciroma, A former minister of finance and former governor of Central bank:
“….Ciroma threatens southerners with a new Dan Fodio… he said,
Like you know the Hausa land was in crisis for over two hundred years and God brought Usman Dan Fodio… For me I have no doubt and I have not lost my faith that God can still bring the person that will clean the mess we are in now….”
On Sat the 4 May 2013 a statement posted on the information Nigeria quoted Mallam Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu the national President of Arewa youth forum are saying that:
“—if the FG continues its fragrant display of insensitivity and the nonchalance then we will be treading the part of fire and bloodshed. Lawal Kaita was quoted by the African herald Express as saying in Katsina state that: the northerners must emerge in 2015 or Nigeria will be divided. We hear rumours all over that Jonathan is planning to contest in 2015. Well, the north is going to be prepared if the country remains one. That is if the country remains one, we are going to fight for it. If not, everybody can go his way”.
Farouk Aliyu in a statement in which he claimed he is speaking for the north said: there shall be no “No Nigeria without a northerner as president in 2015-ex law maker. Let me also use this opportunity to say on behalf of us in the north that no one has monopoly of violence and that on behalf of the northern extraction, there shall be no ‘one Nigeria’ if a northerner is not elected president of this country because politics is a game of numbers….”
Former Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger state and chairman of the 19 northern governors forum also reacted by saying: “I have never seen in any country where somebody will stand up to say that if you don’t elect that person there will be war. I have never heard that, the security agencies should have arrested that man because that is what we call treason in reality”.
I wrote an open letter to the Speaker of the House of Assembly right Honourable Aminu Waziri Tambuwal where I copied others on the 9th of May 2013 and in that letter I urged the Speaker of the House of Representative to investigate all provocative and inflammatory statements made by all Nigerians on this issue because every Nigerian has the right to aspire to be the president of Nigerian, the president of the senate, the speaker of the House of Representative and the Chief Justice of Nigeria. No group of persons has the prerogative right to these and other positions to the exclusion of other Nigerians. Mr. Speaker and my dear honourable members, I humbly submit that it is only when you put the totality of all the statements made by the various mentioned above in my open letter to you that the house will arrive at a meaningful conclusion over the issue in the best interest of our country.
I am using this letter now to appeal to all Nigerians to state whether what we the Ijaws said is more damaging to Nigeria image or the ones said by northerners. Let Nigerians be the judge.
The author equally observed that you were on many occasion the target of attacks by prominent Ijaw leaders and groups, this stated the author was one of your reasons for your infamous open letter to President Jonathan in 2013 titled “Before its Too Late”. Your letter accused Jonathan of pursuing selfish interests by destroying his own party, polarising the country along regional and religious line and ridiculing Nigerians globally. You said to Jonathan “For you to allow yourself to be possessed to the exclusion of the rest of Nigerians as an Ijaw man is a mistake that should never have been allowed to happen. To allow or tacitly encourage people of Ijaw to throw insults on other Nigerians from other parts of the country and threaten fire and brimstone to protect your interests as an Ijaw man is myopic and that you are not openly quieting them is even more unfortunate” you wrote.
You went on to say “As a leader, two things you must cherish and hold dear, among others, are trust and honor, both of which are important ingredients of character and which Jonathan hasn’t got. I will want to see anyone in the office of the presidency of Nigeria as a man and woman who can be trusted, a person of honor in worth and character,” you further stated.
Obasanjo you are definitely fooling yourself because Nigerians know you as a master rigger, and father of corruption, a mischief maker, a malicious manipulative Machiavelli an adultererand most inconsistent president Nigeria has ever got. You should hide your head in shame instead of parading yourself every day as a saint.
Like the question about why certain decisions were taken by Yar’Adua and Jonathan. Who areyou? In what capacity areyou arrogating to yourself that you are Mr. All in Nigeria. Or is it from your small Otta farm? Why must you dictate to all serving President of Nigeria?And when they refuse your dictate they become your enemy. Who are you to assess the performance of President and their government, who are you to dictate to Nigerians who should President or who should not be President? Who are youto talk about zoning when you yourselfwere to run a single term of 4 years between 1999 and 2003 which led Atiku to challenge you in 2003 when you wanted to continue a second term? Who are you to talk about zoning when you mysteriously became the head of state between 1976 and 1979 and later became an elected President of Nigeria in 1999 when you were released from Yola prison by the military ruler a position you held for 8 years.Who areyou to talk about zoning when you wanted to rule Nigeria for an additional third term and for which you wanted to be the president of Nigeria for life, you lobbied the national assembly and you gave each member of the House of Representatives, fifty million naira and each senator seventy-five million naira. Some accepted this money but refused to vote for you. But this shameless fellow, Obasanjo turned round to say that he never one day asked for a third term. That if he wanted a third term God could have given it to him. What a hypocrite. That El Rufai is lying, Ribadu is lying, Mrs Okonji-Nwaila is lying, Ezekwensili is lying Tony Anenih is lying, Ibrahim Mantu is lying, Ken Nnamani President of senate and the Rt. HonourableMasari are lying. What a shameless man who thinks that he alone exist in Nigeria.
The members of your kitchen cabinet thereafter lost confidence in you and regarded you as a person whose character had sunk to the lowest ebb.
For your pettiness and for reasons best known to you, you have the highest disdain for the Ijaw people. You do not hide your callousness, mischievous maliciousness towards the Ijaw people of which Jonathan happens to be one. It is known by all Nigerians that whoever is the President of Nigeria, his language becomes the lingua franca of Aso Rock. This was the position when President Shagari when he was the president of Nigeria and Hausa the lingua franca of Aso Rock. When Obasanjo became President even though the Yoruba refused to vote for him because of his character, yet Yoruba became the lingua franca of Aso Rock. You surrounded yourself with your kinsmen including three Inspector Generals of Police Musiliu Adeola Smith May 29 1999 to March 2002, Mustafa Adebayo Balogun March 2002 to January 2005 and Sunday Ehindero2005 to 2007. Col Are was the DG of SSS now DSS. Gen Abdulahi Mohammed Chief of Staff May 1999 to June 2008 and was succeeded by another Yoruba man Bolade Oshinowo who was later removed when President Yar’Adua scrapped the office of Chief of Staff and most of your advisers and PA were Yorubas. Mrs. Oluyemi Oyo was your special adviser on media, was a Yoruba lady who was succeeded by Ima Boro an Urhobo man in Jonathan’s administration while Dr Reuben Abating another Yoruba man was Jonathan special adviser on media, and Dr. Doyin Okupe another Yoruba man was assistant to Dr Abati and Christopher Kolade your personal friend was the High Commissioner to the UK and at the same time Professor Adefoyi was the Nigerian Ambassador to Washington another Yoruba man etc. Where are the Ijaw clan surrounding Jonathan?
Now, apart from late General Owoye Azazi who was the national security adviser, and late Oronto Douglas who was a special adviser, name any other Ijaw man or womanwho was amongst Jonathan’s senior staff. And while the Yoruba language was the lingua Franca in Aso in your time, the lingua franca of Aso Rock was not Ijaw when Jonathan was President because there were no Ijaws to speak the language in Aso Rock. At this juncture I consider it necessary to quote part of my reply to your infamous letter to President Jonathan for record purposes.
In my open letter to you on 3/1/2014 titled “Let the truth be told before it’s too late” I recall I told you that “I am indeed very sad and disturbed that you can make such a malicious and mischievous statement about an ethnic group which you so pejoratively put in parenthesis knowing fully well that this has no single iota of truth nor foundation purposely to instigate and incite the rest of Nigerians against former Mr President Jonathan and the Ijaw people. One may wish to ask why you think Jonathan was being possessed by the Ijaws in the presidency? Well the answer to that question is definitely no! He was not possessed by the Ijaws.
As the following instances may suffice and show a list of President Jonathan’s senior staff:
1. The NSA in charge of security in the whole country is Fulani from Sokoto state
2. The SGF is Ibo from Ebonyi state
3. The principal secretary to the president is Fulani from Adamawa state
4. The commander, Brigade of guards is from Cross River state
5. The ADC to the President is from Kogi state
6. His speech writer is from Edo state while the senior special adviser of the media is from Ogun State
7. Chief of Staff to the President –Edo state
8. Principal secretary to the President is Fulani
9. The comptroller-General of Nigeria Custom service is Fulani from Katsina state
10. The chief of air staff is an Ibo from Delta state
11. The chief of naval staff is from Kwara state
12. The chief of defence staff is from North
13. The chief of army staff is Ibo from Abia state
14. Inspector general of police is Hausa
15. The DG of DSS is from Cross River state
16. The Gen Dir of Immigration service is from Plateau state
17. The DG of NSCDC is from Yoruba from Ogun state
18. The executive sec of PTDF is Yoruba from Ekiti state
19. The Chairman of FERMA is Yoruba from Ogun state while the MD is Ibo from Delta state
20. The GMD NNPC is from Kaduna state
21. The Acting DG NTA is from Edo state
22. DG of inland waterways is from the north
23. The MD of NPA is Hausa Fulani
24. The CBN governor is Hausa/Fulani from Kano state
25. The FRSC chairman is Ibo
26. The DG of NAFDAC is from Benue state
27. INEC chairman is Hausa/Fulani from Kebbi state
28. NDDC chairman is Ibibio from Akwa Ibom state
29. DG National Orientation Agency is from Nasarawa state
30. The Economic adviser to the President is Ibo
31. The chief of protocol to Mr President is a Yoruba man
You should now tell Nigerians the Ijaw clan that was around President Jonathan. From the above list, you can now tell that President Jonathan didn’t surround himself with Ijaw people.
Nigerians who are worshipping you should re-examine themselves. What do they owe to you? You, who sold all national assets of Nigeria including the Nigerian shipping line, Nigerian Airways, Nitel, Nigeria houses and institutions,you sold everything except Aso Rock. You sold Delta Steel Company (DSC) through your son to the Indians who could not pay for it and manage it. Same thing you did with Ajaokuta Steel. So who are you to talk about corruption in Nigeria? You appointed your daughter as the director of a non-existing LNG in Olokola. You should re-examine yourself if you are well. No sane man will parade himself as an honest man when he knows that he is a corrupt man. You sold Nicon Nuga Hilton which became Transcorp Hilton to yourself and others against the advice given to you by your kitchen cabinet. You are a shameless fellow who must not speak when decent Nigerians are speaking. You caused all the problems of Nigeria. You are the initiator of corruption in Nigeria. You masterminded it, legalised it and what corruption is today you caused. And youpretend as if you are not corrupt. You corrupted the national Assembly then you turned round to call them armed robbers and thieves. Whereas youwereas corrupt asthey were. You should stop parading yourself shamelessly as an honest man. You should re-examine yourself, both in your personal life and in your public life.
My dear former President, what do you really want from Jonathan and the Ijaw people?Most of the various issues you raised in collaboration with Olusegun Adeniyi’s book “Against the Run of Play” are mere re-visitation of the many things you did and failed to do in your eight years of mis-governance. In conclusion I would like to borrow the words of Peter Howard, “the petty plans and plots of small minded men rob every nation of their destiny” I humbly conclude.
Chief Dr. Edwin Kiagbodo Clarke, CON, OFR