By Henry Umoru, Abuja
SENATOR James Manager, PDP, Delta South, yesterday, condemned, in very strong terms, the raid of the Abuja home of nonagenarian, Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, by the police, just as he called for an open and comprehensive investigation into the incident.
Manager, who described the incident as sad and unfortunate, stressed that the government must carry out a holistic investigation into the matter.
According to him, apologizing to the elder statesman was not enough. He said that the incident must not be allowed to be covered up without the public knowing all the details, particularly concerning who gave the order, who signed the police search warrant, which officers executed it and what objective was it meant to serve.
In a statement, the senator said that the action of the police was an unwarranted harassment of the statesman who is known for being very vocal in expressing his views on national issues, issues concerning his people in Niger Delta, Delta state, the Ijaw people and everyone other person in Nigeria.
Manager, who also described the raid as an evidence that the country was turning into “abyss and police state”, said, “ It was clearly an attempt to intimidate and cow as well as stifle contrary opinion in clear violation of our constitution and international conventions, as we approach the 2019 elections.”
“Nigerians must be vigilant and resist attempts at constricting our democratic space and fundamental human rights, through the use of agencies of the state”, he added..
In a related development, a group known as Ijaw Solidarity Forum (ISF) described the raids on the residences of Clark and Kingsley Kuku as a deliberate ethnic target.
A statement by the group Coordinator, Borowei Peretei, in Akure, Ondo State capital,
described the raid on Clark as a deliberate ethnic target aimed at embarrassing and silencing opposition voices ahead of the 2019 elections.
According to the statement, nothing could have offended the people of Ijaw more than the reckless conduct of the police, all in the name of searching for non-existing arms and ammunition in the homes of their illustrious sons.
It added: “It will be recalled that a similar raid was carried out by a team of police detachment on the instruction of Police Inspector General at the Arogbo-Ijaw residence of Dr. Kingsley Kuku”.