We hold Edwin Clark in high esteem, Ohanaeze tells IPOB
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has condemned the attack on elder statesman, Edwin Clark, by the Indigenous People of Biafra.
IPOB had attacked Clark for saying the group is dreaming over its inclusion of the Niger Delta region in Biafra Republic.
According to IPOB, “Edwin Clark is not speaking for millions of Niger Delta youths, men and women earnestly yearning for their liberation from the Nigerian bondage. He is only speaking for his Fulani slave masters, but very soon he will discover that he is a General without foot soldiers.”
But in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Chiedozie Alex Ogbonnia, yesterday, Ohanaeze said it hold Clark in high esteem.
The statement read, “The attention of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has been drawn to remarks by the spokesman of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo makes it abundantly clear that the Igbo extol old age with courtesy and reverence. Old age is so treasured that the eldest man in a village or community, in most cases, enjoys community burial and funeral rites at death. The old are deemed to represent the Igbo ancestors here on earth and thus are often celebrated.
“It is a public knowledge that youths, all over the world, have some common characteristics which include impetuosity and exuberance. As much as the effervescence and exuberance of the youths are the essential hallmarks of a growing society, it is still the duty of the elders to moderate the excesses and idiosyncrasies of the youth.
“Let it be placed on record that Chief Edwin Clark is one of the few detribalised Nigerians with an unassailable love for the Igbos. He has in more than several ways demonstrated an intense passion for the Igbo. It was Chief Clark who facilitated the renovation and equipment of the Queens School, Enugu with state of the art facilities shortly after the Nigerian civil war. Eminent Igbo women that passed through the school, such as Justice Rose Ukeje (rtd), Justice Victoria Nebo, Prof. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Prof. Ifeoma Enemuo, Prof. Ifeoma Egbuonu, Mrs. Justina Offia (SAN), Prof. Gloria Chukwukere, etc, are some of the testaments of Clark magnanimity. Since then, Clark has remained one of the Patrons of the School to the present day. It was Clark who had spoken vehemently against the Igbo marginalisation and has propelled the concept of a president of Nigeria from the South East. It was Clark who had stated that the agitations by the Igbo are justified, among several others.
“It is important to urge our youths to refrain from remarks capable of putting the Igbo relationships with our highly valued neighbours in avoidable distress. The Igbo agitation, no doubt, is genuine but restraints, persuasions and cordial inter-ethnic relations are required to sustain the supports of other ethnic groups in Nigeria
“The Leaders of the South East, South South, South West and Middle Belt converged and chose Chief Clark as the indefatigable leader of SMBLF because of his sterling qualities. I must also add that one of the most cherished of his enviable leadership qualities is the exceptional courage of his innermost convictions and the ability to speak truth to power.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide led by Ambassador Professor George Obiozor holds Chief E.K Clark in very high esteem. Our profound admiration for him is beyond measures and will always condemn any form of attack on his person. We, therefore, hope that the unsavoury remarks by our youths will not weaken his passion and commitment for the Igbo.”