By Emma Amaize
Elder Statesman and former Federal Commissioner for Information, Chief Edwin Clark, and his estranged political son, former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, are at daggers drawn over an allegation by Orubebe that Clark supposedly collected money and abandoned some projects, which contracts were awarded to his company.
Orubebe, who fired the first shot, accused the Chairman, Board of Trustees of Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, of abandoning projects after collecting money.
Vanguard learned that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had investigated such allegation against Clark in the past.
Reacting to the diatribe, Clark, through PANDEF National Secretary, Dr Alfred Mulade said, “A couple of days ago, a news report credited to Elder Godsday Orubebe, erstwhile Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, was trending in the social media platforms, which contains a spurious and mischievous allegation of collection of money and abandonment of certain contracts against the person and integrity of our leader, Chief Edwin Clark.”
He quoted Orubebe as saying in a Facebook post, ‘…As Niger Delta Minister, I gave Edwin Clark contract, he took the money but didn’t do the job. Yet he said he has the interest of N/Delta at heart…’
According to Dr Mulade, “This is an allegation that is completely frivolous, baseless and orchestrated to dent and malign the hard-earned reputation of our revered leader, Chief Edwin Clark. “
“For purpose of emphasis and records, the contract for Land Reclamation/Shoreline Protection at Amadi-Ama, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State was awarded to Panama Construction Limited, a firm in which Chief Clark has interest in 2011. The company immediately mobilized, resumed active work on-site and achieved appreciable milestones.
“By the time Elder Orubebe exited the Ministry as a Minister in search of his gubernatorial ambition, two earned valuation payment requests which have been due since 2013 were left unpaid by Orubebe, while he held sway as Minister and have remained unpaid till date.
“The buildup to the 2015 gubernatorial election marked a sharp division between Elder Orubebe and Chief Clark as the former met brick wall in his unsuccessful quest to woo the later to boost his political advantage in pursuit of his ambition.
“Mr Orubebe allegedly reported the issue to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and upon investigation, nothing was found against Chief Clark and Panama Construction Limited.
“The general public is hereby advised to discountenance this fake news tended to smear the personality and influence of our leader, for reasons best known to its author,” the PANDEF secretary asserted.