Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Clark to Orubebe: You can’t be governor of Delta State come 2015
WARRI—South-South leader, Chief Edwin Clark, Tuesday, lashed out at Minister of Niger Delta, Elder Godsday Orubebe, accusing him of disobeying and embarrassing President Goodluck Jonathan with his bloated ambition to take over from Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State in 2015. Chief Clark was peeved that the minister, whose nomination he fought for against all odds, had forgotten so soon, adding that even if Ijaws in Delta State were asked to produce a gubernatorial candidate, “It will not be Mr. Orubebe and he is fully aware of that.”
He also spoke on the Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Mr. Victor Ochei, who is eyeing the governorship seat in 2015, saying: “I wish to advise Orubebe and Ochei to give peace a chance and not use their positions to intimidate and cause confusion among the people.”
The elder statesman, who returned from the United Kingdom, recently, was, however, more particular about Orubebe, saying that his attention was drawn to comments made by the minister that he was going to contest the 2015 gubernatorial elections in the state because it was the turn of Ijaw ethnic nationality to do so.
Noting that President Jonathan had categorically directed that “none of his ministers and government functionaries should engage in politics as to declaring their intentions or supporting anyone for elective position, including Senatorial, House of Representatives or gubernatorial,” he said he was taken aback when he received text messages on Orubebe’s declaration.
He said: “Mr. Orubebe cannot claim ignorance of Mr. President’s directive. His flagrant disobedience is no doubt an embarrassment to Mr. President, to the leaders of the party and the party faithful, particularly to me who everybody believes contributed greatly to his becoming a Minister having regard to the opposition from the former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibor and his supporters against me.
“However, I did not believe that Mr. Orubebe made such declaration until my return to Warri on May 2, 2013. I was not only besieged by party members on the alleged statement by Mr. Orubebe at Ovu town, when he paid a condolence visit to the family of late Alam Barovbe. Three members, who were present testified to the fact that Mr. Orubebe made such statement in Ovu. This was also confirmed by a prominent party leader in Delta state, Chief Bernard Edewor, who said he replied to the speech made by Mr. Orubebe.
“Our opponents and detractors are definitely cashing in on Orubebe’s careless and irresponsible statement and are now using it to insult Mr. President, the Ijaws and even myself, that the President and I, are definitely behind him. I had tried to disabuse the minds of people and denied that neither Mr. President nor I was aware of Mr. Orubebe’s statement. The calls to my telephone have not stopped, hence my decision to address the people of Delta State.
“Perhaps, Mr. Orubebe has also forgotten how I accompanied him to the State House in Abuja after his confirmation at the Senate as a minister and to be sworn-in as Minister with three other colleagues of his. And the embarrassment caused to me when the former Secretary to the Federal Government, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe came to inform me that Mr. President had decided not to swear in Mr. Orubebe.”