Urhobo Historical Society


THE URHOBO VOICE,  JULY 27, 2009 — 7

Clark Hails Urhobo Historical Society


*Gives condition for peace in the N-Delta


Chief Edwin Clark has showered praises on the Urhobo Historical Society (UHS) for its statement on the Gbaramatu situation, even has listed conditions he says could lead to peace in the Niger Delta region before December.


The Ijaw national leader and former Federal Information Minister spoke in his country home, Kiagbodo recently when he played host to Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, Governor of Delta State who was on a courtesy call to brief him on President Umaru Yar’Adua’s amnesty proposals.


According to Chief Clark, “No amount of rehabilitation will solve the problem.  It is an insult to them to be fed by other people. If the war is over, let the Gbaramatu people go home, to manage themselves. After this, there must be a pull out by the JTF to their base, so that these boys will come out, but if you are stationing military men in Camp 5 and Okerenkoko; I heard that there are about 200 soldiers in Okerekonko, the boys will not come out; the people will find it difficult to go back to their homes. It is not enough for anybody to say that they can go home. Government must prepare both at the state and the federal levels so that the people could return to their homes in peace not as a conquered people.”


The former federal Information Minister said the federal government must also determine what they want to do for the Niger Delta people between now and December in form of physical infrastructural development. He added,  “You know, Your Excellency, that a 45-man committee led by Ledum Mittee was set up to look into all the reports from 1958 to this day. The committee has done their job but for the past seven months no report and nothing tangibly has been done: One of the things you carry back to our President, is for him to release that report. Let us know what each committee in the past have recommended for the development of the Niger Delta.”


Clark noted that the President was quoted as saying, while speaking to the Russian President that between now and December there would be peace in the Niger Delta, “So between now and December, what physical development is going to take place in this area. Would you engage these boys or will you bring all of them to the township?” Clark queried.


According to him, it is not enough for some people to sit in Abuja and abuse their elders reminding them that if there is no justice there will be no peace and if there is no peace no development can take place in the Niger Delta.


Chief Clark was full of praise for the Urhobo Historical Society for their statement on the current situation in the Niger-Delta and advised other groups in the region to emulate them, saying that the Niger Delta people would not allow the Hausas, Yorubas and Ibos to determine what is best for the region.


Earlier in his comment, Dr Emmaneul Uduaghan described his visit to Chief Clark as a business one to discuss the current amnesty for the youths fighting for justice in the region and the way forward. He stressed that the engagement process, which he began some years ago was the best way forward to achieve peace in the region despite the reservation expressed by some people saying that the issue of marginalization in Niger Delta was very serious.