A prominent Ijaw leader, who is also a former Minister of Information, Chief Edwin Clark, has described former President Olusegun Obasanjo as a trouble maker.
Clark, in a letter to the former Chairman of Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, dated January 3, 2014, also called Obasanjo a liar, manipulator and a hypocrite.
He was reacting to the letter written to President Goodluck Jonathan by the former President, in which he (Obasanjo) made some remarks about him (Clark).
Obasanjo had in his 18-page letter to President Jonathan, dated December 2, 2013, made some comments on Clark.
While replying the letter in a 10-page titled: ‘Let The Truth Be Told Before It Is Too Late,’ and made available to newsmen in Abuja, Clark said he would use the words of one of Obasanjo’s daughters, Iyabo, to describe him by saying, “Mr. former President, I will also like to use the language of your daughter, Iyabo, to describe you to Nigerians.
“You are ‘a liar, manipulator, two-face hypocrite,” and that “you have egoistic craving for power and live a life only men of low self-esteem and intellect thrive.”
Clark’s lawyer, Mr. Kayode Ajulo, confirmed that the elder statesman wrote the letter to Obasanjo.
In the letter, Clark also described Obasanjo as “an ego maniac who always want to play to the gallery.
“Ordinarily, I never intended to join in the affray of accusations and counter-accusations between a former president and a sitting president and a daughter in between.
“But, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, in your usual characteristic hatred and use of sarcastic remarks about Ijaw, you have again berated and insulted us the Ijaws in your letter to Mr. President. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has never for once acted nor behaved as an Ijaw man since he took office as President, and we hold no grudge against him for that.
“In addition, I want to buttress the assertion that all Nigerians are equal no matter, where they come from, that is no one is a second-class citizen of this nation. You have no right to plunge Nigeria into crisis as your past actions and recent open letter to the President connotes. The generality of Nigerians think your letter is treasonable.”
He said, “My dear Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, you have become an unrepentant troublemaker. As Nigeria gave you more than you truly deserve, hence, you see yourself as lord of the manor.
“You have without recourse in the past embarrassed all past Heads of State and Presidents in Nigeria through open letters and savoury comments. In such letters, you have always alleged maladministration, corruption and incompetence against them.”
Clark, however, agreed that former President Obasanjo was responsible for the emergence of Jonathan as President, but regretted that the former thought he would be able to control the latter.
He said Obasanjo also tried to control the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, but said the former President resisted the attempt.
He said, “Nigerians are aware that you set the stage for the emergence of Goodluck Jonathan as President of the Federal Republic. But the saying goes that if you present a gift of goat to a friend you must let go of the tether. You are probably different.
“Right from the inception of the Jonathan presidency, your body language indicated you want to play the role of the piper, that is, dictate how Jonathan runs the government, a phenomenon you did not tolerate from those who put you in office in 1999.
“An incident that played itself out then will suffice. You masterminded the removal of Chief Tony Anenih, then Peoples Democratic Party Chairman, Board of Trustees, and appointed yourself thinking the position will give you powers to control and manipulate the President.
“The futility of your actions dawned on you when you realised Jonathan is his own man. And in frustration you resigned as PDP Board of Trustees Chairman. You had thought the President will kneel before you begging that you stay on, but he never did.
“Every Nigerian therefore, knows that you connived, with PDP renegades and opposition parties to ridicule and undo President Jonathan and the government because he refused to be your puppet.”
Clark also alleged that the former President was also corrupt.
Clark said, “My dear OBJ, I was your colleague in the General Yakubu Gowon government in 1975. You were then the Minister of Works. The Head of State directed you to develop the Tin Can Island Port.
“It was widely rumoured then that you carved out a portion of land from the area earmarked for the project for yourself, the area now known as Beach Land Estate in Apapa, Lagos.
“Your clandestine usurpation of the piece of land led to series of litigations with your front man, in which I believe you are still probably embroiled.”
Meanwhile, when contacted a media aide to Obasanjo, Mr. Tunde Oladunjoye, said that the ex-president had put issues relating to the letter to Jonathan behind him.
He said, “I want to thank you for your ethical decision to contact us for a reaction.
“However, we have no reaction or comments to make on the said letter or comments or whatsoever from Chief Edwin Clark, or anybody whoever.
“I appeal to my cherished colleagues in the media to please bear with me as Chief Olusegun Obasanjo categorically told me that ‘Tunde, let us put that (issue of his letter to Mr. President) behind us.”
“Again, I will refer you to the said letter on Page 14 paragraph two, ‘Knowing what happens around you – most of which you know of and condone or deny, this letter will provoke cacophony from hired and unhired attackers, but I will maintain my serenity, because by this letter I have done my duty to you as I have always done, to your government, to the party, PDP, and to our country, Nigeria.”