By Debo Popoola
There is a saying that goes thus: “the word is an egg, when spoken, can never be retracted.” This saying best fits the man called Edwin Clark. The man who thinks when he speaks, his words cannot bounce back to hurt him.
Edwin Clark has forgotten that every word spoken by him to be public are stored in the air and can be recalled at any time and be used against. Part of the words Edwin Clark said sometimes ago is written below:
“I am very much impressed because he (Jonathan) has performed so well, unsung, unheralded by the press. Nobody knows whether it is deliberate or not. We don’t know. But I must say that the government has a weak publicity, otherwise, what has the president not done. Is it in the field of economy? Recently, CNN, not our friend, admitted China, Qatar and Nigeria are the three fastest growing countries in the world. Is it not true? We have the biggest economy in the whole of Africa, what else do you want? Railways, which had not been operating for the past 30 years, today you can enter the train from Iddo to Kano. You can move from Port Harcourt to Jos now. This modern carriage train from Abuja to Kaduna is being built with billions of naira. Also from Ajaokuta to Warri. That’s on the rail transportation. Now government is planning to construct railway from Calabar to Lagos. These things are going on. Let’s talk about power. People in Nigeria are so short-sighted. We’ve made that habit so good. You remember in the last years of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, there was so much scandal in the power sector. Remember the probe in the House of Representatives, how Obasanjo spent N16 billion unaccounted for. And by the time Obasanjo left office, our generating capacity had fallen below 3,000mw. But today, despite the destruction of pipelines and the shortage of gas, we are generating 4.5000mw. With the privatisation, we improved the quality of power in Nigeria. No government was able to privatise that sector but President Jonathan took the trouble courageously to privatise it, and today it’s in the hands of over 10 companies, generating and distributing, while the government handles the transmission. That is power.”
This is an excerpt from an interview Edwin Clark granted to Davidson Iriekpen, on 22nd of March 2015. During this time, the campaign for the re-election of former president Jonathan was at its peak, and Edwin Clark was at the fore-front to it. The old man lavished praises on his kinsman for the good he thought he had done for the nation; about the booming economy and infrastructural development that Jonathan had embarked on. But all these achievements that Edwin Clark talked about seem to have vanished the moment Jonathan was no more in the power. The mouth that Pa Edwin Clark had used to praise Goodluck Jonathan is now being used to lambast him.
One wonders what could have happened to that praise-singing mouth. Was it that the mouth has refused to be fed the moment power changed hands? Or is Edwin Clark one of those fair-weather friends that cling to you when all is rosy and turned their back at thorny times?
Edwin Clark has been speaking recently in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari and against former President Goodluck Jonathan. In one of his recent interviews, he said:
“Jonathan didn’t have the political will to fight corruption. He’s a gentleman. Drivers of yesterday are living in palatial buildings now under his government.
“In advanced countries, when you are living above your means, people query you. That’s not so in Nigeria. Former governors, lawmakers are now asking for immunity.
“I no longer belong to the PDP. I won’t go to the APC either, but I will continue to talk as an elder statesman and leader of this country. I have left politics.
“If anyone comes to me to say he’s running for any elective position in the PDP or the APC, I won’t support you. I’m not a member of the PDP anymore.”
The question we should all ask Pa Edwin Clark is that how come he didn’t tell Goodluck Jonathan that he lacked the will to fight corruption when he, Jonathan, was in power? It clearly shows that Pa Edwin Clark is someone that knows the truth but refused to say it because of what might enter into his stomach. People like this should not b referred to as statesmen.
Now, Edwin Clark has dump PDP; another sign of him being a fair-weather friend. The messes in the party that Edwin Clark is now running away from were created by him and his fellow party men. He cannot exonerate himself from the woes of the party
If Edwin Clark thinks dissing Jonathan will earn him a place in Buhari’s administration, he had better woken up from his fantasy dream