Nonagenarian elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, said he stopped celebrating his birthdays since the Chibok schoolgirls were abducted in Borno State in April 2014 and would not celebrate it until they are rescued.
Clark, a former Minister of Information, said he has resorted to releasing statements on national issues on his birthdays to celebrate them.
Clark, who is the leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), described the Chibok girls’ abduction as the worst experience any country could have.
Persecondnews recalls that more than 200 students of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, were kidnapped when some gunmen invaded their hostels in a convoy of vehicles and motorcycles on April 14, 2014.
International outcry and condemnation had greeted the incident, the first in the annals of governance in Nigeria.
Outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari had promised to rescue the Chibok girls, particularly Leah Shuaibu, the only Christian who refused to renounce her faith and was forcibly married off to one of the Boko Haram terrorists in the Sambisa forest of Borno State.
Clark, however, used this year’s birthday to release his memoir entitled, “Brutally Frank”, at a thanksgiving service held at St. James Anglican Church, Asokoro, Abuja, presided over by Archbishop of Anglican Communion in Nigeria and Bishop of Abuja, the Most Revd. Henry Ndukuba.
Attendees at the thanksgiving service include ex-Edo governor of Edo State, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor, a retired Permanent Secretary in the Federal Civil Service, Mr. Timiebi Koripamo-Agary, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, and a one-time Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Nordic countries, Mr Godknows Igali.
On the unity of the country over 60 years after independence, Clark said Nigeria cannot be united as one by mere word of mouth alone.
According to him, lack of trust is what is breaking up Nigeria today.
“Nigeria is so divided today. Today, I am not celebrating, but I must thank God. I am not celebrating because I lost two younger brothers,” he said.
In his book, Clark said: “I have written a book, some people might want to take me to court but that is the truth. You can’t kill the truth.
“I am a Nigerian, I won’t keep quiet when Nigerians are suffering. If Nigeria is not standing properly there will be no peace. Why is it that a region is having five states, others are having four, and one has seven.”
Speaking at the occasion, Bayelsa Gov. Douye Diri, lauded the Ijaw leader for his vibrancy and witticism even at 96, who is still preaching the unity of the country.
The Archbishop, in his sermon, said: “This is one man when he rings his bell everyone will hear. Until Nigeria becomes a better place, a pride of the world, we will not rest.
“May God make you more relevant and through you, others will be relevant. A word from you is a like a torch in the dark, your torch will never go down and It will continue to shine and glorify your Father (God) in heaven.
Also speaking, Clark’s daughter, Mrs. Rebecca Clark-Okorodudu, commended her father for always speaking truth to power at all times.
“If Nigeria can have two or three more of him, it will be a better place.”