Clark Speaks From Retirement, Calls Bayelsa Election A Show Of Shame


BEVERLY HILLS, January 14, (THEWILL) – Ijaw leader and former Federal Commissioner for Information, Chief Edwin Clark, yesterday described the recently-concluded governorship election in Bayelsa State as a brazen show of shame, stressing that the political violence witnessed in the state was as a result of desperation and greed.

Speaking at a press conference in his Abuja residence, the elder statesman pointed out that the conducts of the two leading contenders: Governor Seriake Dickson and his challenger, Chief Timipre Sylva, betray them as anything but true democrats.

Acknowledging that he had towards the end of last year resigned from partisan politics, Clark said he felt compelled to talk because the election was a disaster, insisting that it was difficult to exonerate the two contenders of blame.

He noted that guns and other weapons became the voting tools rather than the Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, in some areas, adding that “It is very unfortunate that both of them are not democrats and therefore do not know what democracy means.

“What they know is power. I want to repeat here a very popular and apt saying that “Power belongs to the Almighty God. He gives it at each given time to whoever He wishes.”

Clark disclosed that in view of the fact that both Dickson and Sylva had served the state as governor for four years apiece, he expected the election to have been peaceful, but lamented that “lives were lost”.

He said, “These two contestants have both served the people as governor of the state. The people already know their individual capabilities. They should have allowed the electorate to peacefully decide who they wanted.

“It is very unfortunate that both of them are not democrats and therefore, do not know what democracy means. What they know is power.”

While advising Dickson to extend a hand of fellowship to the loser, he appealed to Sylva to accept the result of the election in the interest of Bayelsa people, noting that it will be dangerous to subject the people to another election.

Clark, who is chairs the Board of Trustees of the Ijaw National Congress, said it was time for the Ijaw nation to look inward, asking that, “If a son of Ijaw land can prevent nationwide bloodshed by conceding defeat, why can't we replicate this same feat at home and display uncommon courage?”

He continued, “I have heard Sylva's statement that he will go to the tribunal to prove that the elections were not properly conducted due to an alleged conspiracy between the Independent National Electoral Commission and the PDP.

“But I am appealing to him that in the interest of the ljaw nation and to prevent the danger of subjecting the people of Bayelsa to another gruesome ordeal, he should please accept the results of the election and allow peace to reign.

“Sylva is a young man and has another opportunity in 2019 to become the governor.”