FORMER Minister of Information and Ijaw national leader, Chief Edwin Clark, on Monday, described former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as “a mischief maker and egomaniac, who always want to play to the gallery.”
The Ijaw leader also carpetted Obasanjo, describing him as “an unrepentant trouble maker,” adding that he had, in the past, embarassed former heads of state through what he called “unsavoury comments.”
Clark, in a letter on Monday, entitled: “Let the truth be told before it is too late,” excoriated the former president over his 18-page letter to President Goodluck Jonathan.
Obasanjo, it will be recalled, wrote a letter, entitled “Before it is too late,” to President Jonathan on December 2, triggering a political wave yet to unsettle.
The Ijaw leader, favourably disposed to Jonathan-led presidency, condemned Obasanjo for writing what he alleged a treasonable letter, adding that Nigeria did not
belong to Obasanjo.
“Ordinarily, I never intended to join in the fray of accusations and counter-accusations between a former president and a sitting president and a daughter in between.
“But Chief 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 President Jonathan, who has never for once acted or 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 butress the assertion that all Nigerians are equal, no matter where they come from, 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 connote. The generality of Nigerians think your letter is treasonable.
“My dear Chief Obasanjo, you have become an unrepentant trouble maker, 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 unsavoury comments.
“In such letters, you have always alleged maladministration, corruption and incompetence against them,” the letter read.
The elder statesman, who admitted though that Obasanjo contributed to the emergence of Jonathan as president, further criticised the former president for his tacit ploy to coax Jonathan, adding that the attacks on the president were because he was not following the dictates of Obasanjo.
“Nigerians are aware that you set the stage for the emergence of Jonathan as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“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 PDP 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 BoT 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,” he stated.
Citing other alleged instances of Obasanjo’s hypocrisy 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 Tincan Island Port. It was widely rumoured then that you carved out a portion of land from the area earmarked for the project for yourself.
“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, while reacting to Chief Clark’s comments, Mr Tunde Oladunjoye, Chief Obasanjo’s media aide, 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 the 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.'”