He cannot be trusted | Ijaw leaders reject Clark’s N’Delta dialogue team

The Delta State Forum of Ijaw elders under the auspices of Izon Okosu-Oku (Izon Council of Elders) on Tuesday rejected the choice of Chief Edwin Clark to lead peace talks with the Federal Government on behalf of Niger Delta militants.

In a statement by its chairman, Chief Bare Etolor, the council said Clark cannot be trusted.

It also accused Clark of being silent and not pursuing the development of the region under the administration of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan.

The group called on President Buhari to withdraw troops from the region, stating that the lingering crisis cannot be solved with military approach.

It asked the militant groups to nominate new individuals with not political affiliation as well as foreigners for the peace talks with the Federal Government.

It said, “The militants should have known that the inclusion of the ex-Minister of Information in the matter may stop, delay or bring negative results to the Niger Delta region.

“President Buhari’s strong principles, integrity and courage cannot allow him to meet with any group led by Chief Clark, who claims to be the father of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

“Those elders in the region who are struggling to represent the militants for negotiation with the Federal Government are laughable. Sadly, they did not remember that the Niger Delta development is a continuous task that must be done by every government, including former President Jonathan’s tenure.”

The Ijaw elders further alleged that Clark was silent on the development of the region throughout the six years of former President Jonathan.

“He cannot suddenly wake up less than 18 months into the new regime to convince President Buhari to start immediate development of the region,” they added.

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