Clark says Okowa betrayed South, gov protests
Elder statesman and First Republic Federal Commissioner for Information, Chief Edwin Clark, on Thursday, came down hard on the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, saying he will not succeed in his desire to become the nation’s next vice president.
Okowa is the running mate to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.
Clark made his position known in an open letter addressed to Okowa dated February 2, 2023, titled, ‘Your dictatorial government and the reign of unaccountability in Delta State,’ made available to journalists in Abuja.
He called on the governor to apologise to his colleagues in both the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party over his decision to serve as Atiku’s running mate.
Clark also gave Okowa between now and May 29 to give an account of the N250bn 13 per cent derivation fund which he allegedly collected from the Federal Government as revealed by Governor Nyesom Wike of River State or face court action.
He accused the governor of betraying governors from the southern part of the country by accepting to serve as Atiku’s running mate.
He said, “Today, I say with certainty that you are more dictatorial than any other military administrator that has administered Delta State since its creation in 1991.
“I can therefore understand why you have deliberately and immorally betrayed your colleagues of Southern Nigeria and the people for your selfish ambition by wanting to land on safer ground by accepting to serve as running mate to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
“No, by God’s grace, your prayer will not be answered. Perhaps, you have forgotten the gravity of the offence you have committed against the people of Southern Nigeria.”
While regretting that Okowa accepted to be Atiku’s running mate, the elder statesman also accused him of directing all the delegates from Delta State not to vote for Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State or Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State but instead vote for Atiku during the PDP presidential primaries last year.
“However, the Southern and Middle-Belt Leaders Forum have resolved to oppose your joint candidature with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and this we will continue to do until election day,” he added.
Meanwhile, speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olise Ifeajika, in an interview with The PUNCH, Okowa said Clark cannot take the place of God.
He said, “If Clark thinks he can take the place of God, we will know whose prayer God will answer.
“Is Clark still in the PDP? What was his role when the PDP decided to throw open the presidential ticket?
“The PDP in its wisdom said it will not zone to anywhere, according to Ortom-led committee, and that was why Peter Obi left the party because Obi thought the ticket will be zoned to the South-East.
“By God’s grace, Atiku/Okowa will be in government come May 29, 2023. Okowa never betrayed anybody, he sticks to the party’s decision to throw its ticket open.”
On 13% derivation, he said the state Commissioner for Finance, Mr Fidelis Tilije, had earlier explained how the state government is spending every Kobo that accrued to the state.
He said the governor Okowa-led government had been transparent in the finance of the state.