WHY E.K CLARK TACKLED OCHEI, ORUBEBE *** Nobody Can Stop Me – Orubebe

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“At 85, I can say what I Like because i am no longer seeking  any relevance in the country. Some of those who are now claiming that I am talking because I want to bring limelight to myself  because President Goodluck Jonathan is an Ijaw man and he is in charge, were not born before I became a national figure and was helping to build the Nigerian nation.

 “At 85, I can say what I want because I am already an old man. The issue of where the governor of Delta State will come from has not been a conspiracy between Delta South and Delta Central. It was not the decision of Delta South and Delta Central that Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan should be governor in 2007. We have felt that the imposition of Uduaghan was against the tenets of democracy and we took the war to Abuja. What happened in 2007 was an imposition; nobody in Delta State should feel superior to the other. No single ethnic group has monopoly of governance. At the age of 85 what am I doing here in exile at Abuja? Is it for contract? No! If I need contract I will be in my village and get contract. But I am here in Abuja to fight injustice”…

This (or something very close to it), was what the former Federal Minister and now Elder statesman of the Niger Delta, Chief  E.K Clark said, in response to critics who have continued to question his harsh and sometimes uncomfortably direct comments on critical issues both at the national level and in his home state, Delta.

Those who know Chief E.K Clark will confirm that he has been a major voice in the  political space since the return of Democracy in 1999 and even more so when President Goodluck Jonathan went to Aso Rock in 2007 (as Vice Prsedent).

He became even more vocal and critical when President Goodluck Jonathan became a beneficiary of the ‘Doctrine of necessity’ and subsequently after the 2011 elections where President Jonatha’s mandate was overwhelmingly affirmed as the first minority from the S/South and indeed Ijaw man to become a fully elected President of Nigeria.

His past foes and objects of his verbal attack include former Heads of States, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida (IBB), former Delta governor, Chief James Ibori and his predecessor, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan amogst others.

The relevance of Chief E.K Clark was once again underlined recently when he launched a fearsome verbal war on two key political figures in Delta State over their greatly anticipated ambitions to contest the 2015 Governorship elections in the state. He told them categorically that they can never govern Delta state.

The two political heavyweights are Elder Godsday Orubebe, Minister for Niger Delta Affairs (an Ijaw man ) and Rt. Hon. Victor Onyekachi Ochei, Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, (an Anioma/Aniocha man).

Chief E,K Clark clearly stated the reasons why he openly denounced Godsday Orubebe, his erstwhile political godson and heir apparent to the Delta Governorship seat and Victor Ochei, who has kept a safe distance from the Niger Delta Elder statesman for sometime now.

His grouse with Orubebe on the surface, is the ambition and intention of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs to become the next governor of Delta State and the manner he is said to be going about it.

Chief Clark is also very angry with the Niger Delta Minister for disobeying the warning of President Goodluck Jonathan that all portfolio holders in his cabinet, who intended to contest elections at any level, should relax their ambitions and campaigns until 2014.

Delta political watchers will recall that the Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Elder Godsday Orubebe publicly declared his intention and preparedness to run for the office of the Delta State governor in the 2015 election, during his condolence visit to the family of the late Alam Barovbe in Ovu Inland, Ethiope East local government area of Delta State, in the last weekend of April 2013.

In his alleged statement of declaration, Orubebe was said to have made it clear that ethnicity would be given priority in determining the state’s next governor. And he was reportedly to havesaid categorically that; “It is the turn of the Ijaw people to produce the next governor of Delta State”.

Speaking further Orubebebe reortedly said that the Ijaws must produce the next governor of Delta State irrespective of the next governor’s senatorial district, adding that the Urhobo and Itsekiri ethnic groups had produced governors, but that the Isoko and Ndokwa have yet to produce one. He therefore insisted it is now the turn of the Ijaw, adding that the various ethnic groups within the state must have “a taste” of the governorship. 

“I must say categorically that all the ethnic nationalities of this state must have a taste of the governorship of this state. Urhobo people have gotten it, Itsekiri have gotten it, Ndokwa has not gotten it, Ijaw has not gotten it, Isoko has not gotten it. And so we are appealing to others that, this is the turn of the Ijaw people. We are appealing that it is the turn of the Ijaw people now because all the ethnic groups must have a taste”, Orubebe said.

This is the declaration that had angered Chief E.K Clark so much that he publicly denounced Orubebe as a future governor of Delta state thus: “For the purpose of argument, if the Ijaws are asked by the Delta State PDP to produce a gubernatorial candidate, it will not be Mr Godsday Orubebe and he is fully aware of that.”

Chief Clark, by his admission, is further angered that Orubebe’s declaration had caused so much embarrassment to the Presidency by jumping the gun in showing interest in the position,  because it was still too early for Orubebe to start scheming to become the governor of Delta state when he knew that President Goodluck Jonathan has forbidden them for now.

Many Delta watchers will recall that Elder Godsday Orubebe, long before he became the Minister of Niger-Delta Affairs, was one of the trusted members of the Chief E.K Clark’s political family in Delta State. Both are from the Ijaw ethnic nationality in the South Senatorial District. While Clark hails from Kiagbodo, Orubebe is from Ogbobagbene, both in Burutu Local Government Area of the state.

At the height of the Ex-convict saga involving former Delta governor, Chief James Ibori and all through the early years of political travails for Governor Uduaghan, Chief Clark had never hidden the fact that he wanted Orubebe to replace either of them if the ruling PDP was eventually compelled to shop for a replacement governorship candidate in the event of any electoral mishap that would necessitate such a move.

The failure of that plot propelled the 85 year old Chief Clark to favor 54-year-old Orubebe and not only nominate him but also ensure his appointment as a Minister, first in the Yar’Adua administration as a Minister of State and then as a full Minister under President Jonathan, against all odds, including an alleged refusal by the Uduaghan administration to endorse the nomination.

In  fact Chief James Ibori, who at that time was also a major political force in the Yar’ Adua kitchen cabinet, did not want Clark’s nominee to sail through because of the power tussle between him and Clark and he almost succeeded as Orubebe was not initially sworn-in with other ministers that were appointed by the late Yar’Adua.

There had also been very strong indications that Orubebe had intended to contest the 2011 governorship elections in the State, but had allegedly been compelled by President Jonathan to choose between his Ministerial position which was assured in his in-coming administration, and a governorship adventure in that politically volatile Delta State, where victory was not at all guaranteed.

Feelers have it that E.K Clark was one of those who convinced Orubebe to drop his governorship ambition and even prevailed on President Jonathan to make Orubebeb the substantive Minister of Niger Delta affairs as compensation for that sacrifice.  

However, very credible inside sources within the Clark/Orubebe stronghold claim that the signs of a crack in the relationship between father and son had already started emerging since last year, when news started to filter into the public domain that Orubebe was engaged in some alleged fraudulent activities at the expense of his mandate to perform and deliver democracy dividends to Ijaw people as Minister of Niger-Delta Affairs.

But Clark dismissed the claims of those accusing Orubebe of non performance by saying that the ministry did not have enough money and that people were complaining that he is tight-fisted and is not empowering those who worked for him. He even called for Orubebe to be probed as a way of clearing his name from the allegations.

But on Tuesday, May 7, 2013  in Warri, an obviously angry Chief E.K Clark, who had had enough, finally descended on his once favoured son and publicly tongue-lashed him.

At a world press conference in Warri, Chief Clark also dismissed the governorship ambition of Hon. Victor Ochei, and appealed to those he described as “young men” who have made so much money to desist from insulting Mr. President, the Ijaws and himself for no justifiable reason.

The state PDP Chairman, Chief Peter Nwaoboshi, who was present at the briefing, endorsed Chief Clark’s position.

Speaking to reporters in Warri, Chief Clark said, “I returned from United Kingdom on Wednesday, 1st May, 2013, and I started to receive calls from PDP, Delta State party faithful resident in the state, Abuja and other places, asking me whether I had seen a text message  echocing  the Sahara Reporters about Mr. Godsday Orubebe’s statement that he was going to contest the 2015 gubernatorial election  in Delta  State, that it was the turn of the Ijaw ethnic nationality to produce governor of  state.

“My attention was then drawn to a text message in my telephone, which reads thus:

“President Jonathan must realize that Delta State is not Bayelsa State where he can do what he likes and any attempt to impose Orubebe on us will be resisted. If he is bent on pulling down Nigeria, let him go ahead with his Ijaw nation, we will not be part of it.’

“Part of the Sahara Reporters report on the same issue which was also read out to me stated thus:

‘I  must say categorically that all the ethnic nationalities of this state must have a taste of governorship of this state. Urhobo people have gotten it, Itsekiri have gotten it, Ndokwa have  not gotten it, Ijaw have  not gotten it, Isoko have  not gotten it. And so, we are appealing to others that it is the turn of the Ijaw people. We are appealing that it is the turn of the Ijaw people now because all the ethnic groups must have a taste.”

A visibly angry Chief Clark also noted that Orubebe was clearly aware that President Jonathan had stated categorically that he was not going to take a decision on 2015 until 2014 because he needed time to concentrate on the job he promised Nigerians.

‘Subsequently, the president  directed that  none of his ministers and government functionaries should engage in politics as to declaring their intentions or supporting anyone for elective position, including senatorial, House of Representatives or gubernatorial”, the elder statesman said.

“Mr. Godsday Orubebe cannot claim ignorance of Mr. President’s directive. His flagrant disobedience is no doubt an embarrassment to Mr. President, to the leaders of the party and the party faithful, particularly to me that everybody believes contributed greatly to his becoming a  minister, having regard to the opposition from the former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, and his supporters against me.”

Speaking further Chief Clark said; “I did not however believe that Mr. Orubebe made such declaration until my arrival in Warri on Thursday, May 2, 2013. I was not only besieged by party members on the alleged statement by Mr. Orubebe at Ovu town when he paid a condolence visit on the family of  the late Alam Barovbe, three members who were present  also testified to the fact that Mr. Orubebe made such statement in Ovu. This was also confirmed by a prominent party leader in Delta  State, Chief Bernard Edewor, who said he replied to the speech made by Mr. Orubebe.”

He went on: “Our opponents and detractors are definitely cashing in on Mr. Godsday Orubebe’s careless and irresponsible statement and are now using it to insult Mr. President Goodluck Jonathan, the Ijaws and even myself; that the president and I are definitely behind him. I have tried to disabuse the minds of  the people and denied that neither Mr. President nor I is aware of Mr. Orubebe’s statement. The calls to my telephone have not stopped, hence my decision to address the people of Delta  State.

“Perhaps, Mr. Orubebe has also forgotten how I accompanied him to the State House in Abuja after his confirmation at the Senate and to be sworn-in as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with three other colleagues of his. And the embarrassment caused to me when the former Secretary to the Federal Government, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, came to inform me that Mr. President had decided not to swear-in Mr. Orubebe.

“I left the Executive Chambers with Mr. Orubebe and his wife in disgrace, but later summed up courage to address the State House Press on the issue. It is, therefore, my advice to the Honorable Minister not to allow the spoils of office to derail him or cause him to take wrong judgment. I am aware that all his other colleagues and other government functionaries have religiously obeyed the Presidential order. It is unfortunate and ridiculous that Mr. Orubebe should be the one to flout this order.”

Clark also picked holes in Orubebe’s ethnicity logic for the emergence of the next governor of  Delta. According to him, “The assertion by Mr. Orubebe that the governorship should be produced on ethnicity  basis and for him to state that the Urhobos and the Itsekiris have produced governors and that the Ijaws, the Isokos and the Ndokwas have not produced governors is not correct.

“The Honourable Minister knows that the Ndokwa  belong to the North Senatorial Zone where you have the Ikas and the Aniochas, and not the South Senatorial Zone, which has also not produced a governor. The five ethnic nationalities have to live together having regard to the immediate past fratricidal war between the Ijaw, the Itsekiri  and the Urhobo  of Warri. Nothing should therefore be done to pitch one ethnic nationality against the other. We must emphasize those things that bind the people together.

“Mr. Godsday Orubebe should realize that peace is a scarce commodity in Delta State, particularly in the PDP  since the 2007  gubernatorial election. At this juncture, it must be emphasized that our great party, the PDP, has been in crisis since 2007. It was only last year, after a period of five years and after series of litigations that we agreed to voluntarily reconcile.”

The elder statesman declared, “For the purpose of argument, if the Ijaw are asked by the Delta State PDP   to produce a gubernatorial candidate, it will not be Mr. Godsday Orubebe and he is fully aware of that.”

Chief Clark also assured that President Jonathan was not in support of Mr. Orubebe for his governorship drive, emphasizing that he was speaking as the father of both men.

As for Rt. Hon Victor Onyekachi Ochei, the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, whom he accused of fleecing the state to the tune of N18 billion, Chief E.K Clark had this warning to give to the lawmaker; “Another person I learnt who wants to become the governor of Delta state is Victor Ochei. What kind of country is this? This is a young man, a contractor who got a mega contract of twenty seven billion naira contract for an Independent Power Project, IPP, at Oghara or Oghareki. He has collected eighteen billion naira from the Delta State Government, but nothing has happened on the site. This was the situation report about 2 years ago. The position today has still not changed because recently on Friday 3rd May, 2013, I sent 2 men to again visit the site. They found that the Delta State Government had tarred the road to the site where there are 3 containers, and that the site is overgrown with grasses and trees.”

“I wish to advice the Godsday Orubebes and the Victor Ocheis to give peace a chance and not to use their position to intimidate and cause confusion amongst the people. When the PDP gives the go ahead for aspirants to indicate their interest, the people of Delta stated will then decide who will be their governor and where he will come from.”

The state PDP chairman, Barr. Peter Nwaoboshi, emphasised Chief Clark’s position by saying that, “nobody should heat the system until the time comes. Ethic sentiments are unnecessary.”

Already an avalanche of reactions and rejoinders have followed the comments of Chief E.K Clark, especially from the camps of Elder Godsday Orubebe and Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei, both of whom have said categorically that nobody can stop them from exercising their rights to contest the 2015 Delta governorship election, if they so decide.

Reacting to the remarks, former Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, to Elder Orubebe, Mr. Ekenwan Ekwagbe, said Chief Clark has no power to stop Orubebe from realising his governorship ambition in Delta State in 2015, even as he blasted the remarks on Orubebe by Chief Clark as unbecoming of an elder statesman well respected in the region and beyond.

He said Chief Clark cannot stop Orubebe from becoming the governor of Delta state, advising the elder statesman to stop playing God because he is not.

He said: “E.K Clark’s press conference, that come 2015, Elder Orubebe cannot be governor of Delta State, doesn’t disturb anybody. It doesn’t move anybody because we know where we are coming from and where we are going. All of us in Delta State, in Burutu Local Government Area, where both E.K Clark and Elder Orubebe come from, know each  other. We know ourselves.

“In the last elections in 2011, a former Speaker in Delta State House of Assembly, Mr.  Frank Enukura, decided to contest election to the House of Representatives. E.K Clark put forward his son, Ebikime, to contest for the same office under the platform of Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), and wanted everybody, irrespective political party, that was contesting the election, to step down for his son.

“But they all refused. At the end of the day, Frank Enukura defeated his son at the primaries of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The boy had to defect to DPP. He used that platform to contest the main election in 2011.

“Frank Enukura, son of a fisherman in Burutu council, whose parents toiled day and night on the rivers, fishing to train him, defeated E.K Clark and his son, not just his son because it was E.K Clark who contested the election indirectly. So, if E.K Clark’s son cannot win election in Burutu council, can he determine who becomes governor of the entire Delta State?”

On the said Orubebe’s embarrassment of President Jonathan through indicating of interest in the governorship race, the SA noted that Clark had caused a lot of embarrassment to President Goodluck Jonathan in the history of the administration through his utterances by attacking highly placed Nigerians.

On the part of Rt. Hon Ochei, although neither the Speaker nor any of his aides have responded to the E.K Clark comments, a group known as Delta Focus Group (DFG), quickly rose to his defence and condemned in strong terms the statement made by the Ijaw leader that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission should probe the speaker of Delta State House of Assembly (DTHA), Hon. Victor Ochei over the Independent Power Plant project, noting that it was capable of inciting the public against the speaker.

In a statement signed by the Publicity Secretary of the DFG, Mr. Saturday Mofoye, the group described the statement as unwarranted of an elder statesman like Chief Clark whom they advised to play more of fatherly role than condemnation of young promising adults that are poise to develop the state with their ambition.

According to the statement, “DFG as a group has found out that Ochei will be best as the governor because as a speaker his empowerment programmes are unequal compare to other Speakers in the country. Members of his constituency can attest to that and the infrastructural development of the State House of Assembly complex is also a good example.

The statement further noted that, “Chief Clark should know that Ochei has never at anytime indicated his interest to contest for governor of Delta state come 2015 unlike Chief Godsday Orubebe. It is only groups like DFG that have been urging him to contest for the seat comes 2015 because we the young adults are ready to support him to actualize the dream. DFG is very ready to stand behind any good individual of Delta origin to become the governor of Delta state come 2015. Gone are the days where some group of elders and leaders would tell the youths who should be their representatives. We Deltans will decide who will be the governor and not one individual come 2015”, the statement added.

But in a swift response to the Orubebe statement, the Ijaw National Congress has come out in strong defense of Chief E. Clark.

In a statement signed by Engr. Ebieridei Charles Ambaiowei -Vice President and Sir Theodore O. Ezonfade -Secretary General, the statement by the INC reads; “The attention of the Ijaw National Congress (INC) has been drawn to a press war after interviews granted by our foremost Ijaw leader and Chairman Board of Trustees of INC, Chief Dr. Sen. E. K. Clark touched on the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe”.

The statement continued thus, “ Congress is dismayed that Elder Godsday Orubebe contemplated and even carried out attacks in newspapers on the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Congress, a highly respected leader and 86 years old statesman for reasons we are so far unable to fathom. What a naked dance of Elder Orubebe!!!. Therefore, we advise the Honourable Minister to concentrate on his ministerial work to uplift the country and the Niger Delta in particular which our people have so much expectations”.

According to the statement, “Congress therefore wish to advise Elder Godsday Orubebe, his political associates and followers to pursue their political ambition with decorum, peacefully and without acrimony; and desist from any further attacks on the person of Chief E. K. Clark so as not to cause crises and dissentions in the Ijaw Nation.

The statement concludes by dropping this advise, “Congress seizes this opportunity to once again urge all political office holders particularly at the national level to concentrate on their jobs and bring democracy dividends to the people. We urge Elder Godsday Orubebe to use the same national press to immediately render unreserved apology to the revered papa Edwin Kiagbodo Clark and further call his surrogates to order. This should be done without pre-conditions demanded on the elder Statesman”.

However, political  pundits claim that there is more to the Clark denouncement of Orubebe and Ochei than meets the ordinary eye in Delta state.

Impeccable sources and analysts are actually surprized that Chief Clark is only just realizing that Orubebe had the ambition to succeed Uduaghan, as the Niger Delta Affairs Minister is said to be very calculating and has recently started to believe that Chief Clark is old and and his time has  passed, and so, he should give them the younger politicians, especially those from Ijaw extraction, the chance to run the state, a position which has prompted him to start building his own political empire, knowing that anybody under Clark’s leadership must be subject to his authority.

A very reliable source had this to say; “The truth is that while Clark trusted Orubebe and was trying to put him above others in his group, the minister already saw himself as a leader by virtue of his status and so, was building his own structure, instead of Clark’s structure.  The rivalry was so bad that even in their local government, Orubebe has planted his men all over the place and they are working for him against the interest of Chief Clark.”

The source reportedly added that Orubebe wanted to take over the leadership of the party in the state to facilitate his nomination as PDP’s gubernatorial candidate in 2015. “Clark never thought Orubebe was building a different political structure until recently during the ward and Local government congresses of the party, and all efforts to make him (Orubebe) withdraw his interest in the cases he filed in court against the party fell on deaf ears.”

Chief Clark was reported to have corroborated this claim when he purportedly called on the national chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, to “call Mr. Godsday Orubebe to order and advise him to withdraw these court cases  to allow peace to reign in the party and in Delta  State.”

Another group, the Voice of Delta also came out strongly to denounce Orubebe’s ambition and even went ahead to justify their position that Orubebe can never be Governor with the following seven point reasons;          1. Orubebe has never done any meaningful thing for Delta as a State Beginning from his days as Councilor; 2. He is controversial; 3. Orubebe is disobedient and has proven this fact by disobeying president Goodluck Jonathan’s directed on campaign; 4. He never denied the allegations of siphoning Public funds through the Niger-Delta Ministry by Governor Rotimi Ameachi and Asari Dokubo; 5.Orubebe was never qualified to be Minister of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria if not for the intervention of E.K Clark; 6. Orubebe is out to overheat the Polity because he was a party to the PDP decision that made the power sharing decision of the Anioma People producing the Next Governor of the State; and 7. He has no manifesto for his Governorship aspiration and has no meaningful achievement as Minister of the Niger-Delta.

As for the verbal denouncement of Rt. Hon Victor Ochei, political watchers in Delta State would recall that at the height of the battle by Chief E.K Clark to remove governor Uduaghan on the grounds that he was foisted on Deltans by his cousin, Chief Ibori, one the very strong voices of support for the embattled governor, was Hon. Ochei.

Insiders claim that Chief E.K Clark may not have forgotten the alleged harsh words and comments with which Ochei was said to have addressed both Chief Clark and his intense campaign to remove Uduaghan, and that that the Niger Delta elders statesman was actually bidding his time to strike back at Ochei at the appropriate time, which now appears to have come, with the speculated ambition of the Speaker to contest the governorship election in 2015.

Very close inside sources also claim that this vitriolic attack by Chief E.K Clark on both Ochei and Orubebe is not at all surprising as it is very typical of the strategy of the Elder statesman whenever he wants to make a political killing.

Many Delta watchers are actually amazed at the sudden sweet relationship between Governor Uduaghan and Chief E.K Clark, especially following the amicable resolution of the Delta PDP Executive Council list which had raised so much controversy and had threatned to tear the party apart.

Clark, who had hitherto virtually fought Governor Uduaghan from every conceivable angle to justify his claim that the governor was imposed on Deltans by Ibori, suddenly became so sweet with Uduaghan even to the point of calling him “My son”.

Delta PDP insiders confirm that governor Uduaghan may have had to display a lot of magnanimity and accommodation by conceeding very key positions in the state PDP Exco (including that of Party Chairman) to the Clark camp, after the Ward and Local govt congresses of the party, for the peace and reconciliation which subsequently followed in the party to be achieved.

The attacks by Chief Clark on Orubebe and Ochei, according to some pundits, may thus be part of a grand plan to actualize the emergence of a candidate favoured by Governor Uduaghan, who it is speculated, is lining up certain persons in his present cabinet, including the widely reported Dr. Festus Okubor, the Chief of staff to the Delta state government, amongst others.

Other analysts belonging to a different school of thought, opine that Chief E.K Clark, who had never hidden his support for the emergence of an Anioma governor, may also be working according to a plot hatched as far back as 2007, when the Delta Leaders and Elders council had identified with a particular candidate, who had  set up a formidble political machine to challenge the Ibori dynasty, but had lost out at the party primaries in Ogwashi-uku and then disappeared from the political horizon for a very long time, leaving his political structure to be inherited by a host of younger politicians.

That candidate is now alleged to once again be in the race for the 2015 governorship election and belongs to a major ethnic nationality which has all the potentials, according to political calculations, to attract block votes from the other two Senatorial zones in the state and win the 2015 elections convincingly.  Chief E.K Clark is thus only playing the expected role of discrediting any other Anioma candidate who intends to join the race and Ochei has become his first victim.

While Elder Godsday Orubebe and Speaker Victor Ochei would be very concerned over Chief E.K Clark’s dismissal of their governorship ambitions, one man who would literarily be laughing into his teacup will be governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, for very obvious reasons.

A pundit jokingly said that if you ask Governor Uduaghan what he thinks about the comments of Chief E.K Clark on Ochei and Orubebe, the governor would reply thus: “Na im good for them. Now dem go know the kain of wahala wey i don see. Thank God say no be me o. Make Baba carry in wahala go give oda people too.”

Another analyst however had a different answer by saying that Governor Uduaghan would simply keep quite but with a huge smile on his face. Afterall, he has only two more years to serve as governor and his remaining tenure would be so much more peaceful without Chief E.K Clark on his back and indeed it would be in his overall interest to be on the good side of Chief E.K Clark, especially now that he is widely expected to contest for the Senate in 2015 and take over from an Ijaw man, Senator James Manager.

It is possible that as you are reading this, President Jonathan may have finally endorsed the ambition of Elder Godsday Orubebe by relieving him of the portfolio of Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, in order to afford the Minister the full opportunity to drive his governorship quest.

President Jonathan has already concluded plans, according to Aso Rock Insiders, to allow four ministers-Elders Godsday Orubebe, Mr. Bala Muhammad, Stella Odua and Labaran Maku, who are said to have indicated interest in the 2015 election and had obtained the tacit approval of Mr. President, to proceed with the process of contesting the gubernatorial elections in their respective states. Minister of State for Education, Mr Nyesom Wike is also believed to be leaving the Federal cabinet to actualise his political ambition.

It is believed that the President has given his subtle blessing to the Niger Delta Minister by Jonathan to begin the process of taking over from Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State that made Orubebe publicly announce his gubernatorial ambition to the people of the state during a recent visit.

Although, the declaration of his political interest to rule Delta State has pitted him against his godfather, a source close to the Presidency said that the apparent difference would be resolved in Orubebe’s favour since Clark could not disagree with Jonathan’s interest.

“The most important development in the Delta situation is that Orubebe has got the endorsement of both President Jonathan and Governor Uduaghan. At the appropriate time, Clark who brought Orubebe into the ministerial seat, will calm down,” the source explained.

One thing which many polity watchers have agreed on is the fact that no matter how blunt his comments may appear most times, once Chief E.K Clark sets his sights on you verbally, the scars are likely to remain for a very very long time.

So what happens next for Elder Godsday Orubebe and Rt. Hon Ochei, after this harsh verbal vote of no confidence on their governorship ambition by Chief E.K Clark? Deltans are watching and waiting patiently.       

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