By Lawrence Olaoye, Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja and Nosa Akenzua, Asaba
President Muhammadu Buhari has extolled the virtues of Nigeria’s former Information Minister, Chief Edwin Clark on the occasion of his 92nd birthday anniversary.
In a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, Buhari in his tribute to Clark, who served as Information Minister during the regime of General Yakubu Gowon, noted that “even if you don’t agree with the elder statesman sometimes, you must acknowledge his patriotism and commitment to peace.”
According to Buhari, “peace building is one of the greatest contributions we should expect of our elders, and I am proud that Chief Edwin Clark has played this role remarkably during trying times in our country.’’
The President who described the nonagenarian as a man of strong convictions who doesn’t hesitate to speak his mind on national issues, added ‘’this gentleman expresses his mind without malice, one of the outstanding virtues of a statesman that he is.’’
“While felicitating with you on this joyous occasion, accept my best wishes and deepest goodwill of my government. You have served your country with distinction and untainted record.
‘’You should be proud of this legacy. The country would always look up to you to tap from your fountain of wisdom”, the President said.
Also yesterday, fFormer Vice President and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential
candidate in the 2019 presidential poll, Atiku Abubakar, had congratulated elder statesman, Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, as he clocks the age of 92 years.
Atiku, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Mazi Paul Ibe, said that the enviable milestone in the life of the nationalist and elder statesman is worth celebrating “more so when his life reflects the collective and continuous effort towards building a great nation”.
He added, “As a great nationalist, he has patriotically served our dear country in various capacities without blemish and this is why he has remained relevant as a dependable voice of the people.
“The former Vice President salutes his unwavering patriotism and relentless pursuit of the unity of the country, particularly his maturity in speaking for the good of all Nigerians.
“Clark possesses an indomitable and insurmountable spirit for advocacy and love for the oppressed, for which God has blessed him with long life, good health and unwavering commitment to fight injustice at all levels.
“Chief Clark is a man who is not afraid to speak his mind about the things he feels strongly about”, he said.
The former Vice President prayed that God will grant the elder statesman many more years in good health and service to a better and egalitarian Nigeria.
Similarly, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has congratulated Ijaw National Leader and elder statesman Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark as he clocks 92 years on Saturday.
Okowa in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Charles Aniagwu, eulogized the nonagenarian for his patriotic and unrelenting service to the nation, describing him as an “outstanding patriot, a committed leader and a man of courage, whose wise counsels contributed immensely to the stability, growth and development of the Niger Delta region in particular and the entire country in general.”