At the ripe age of 83 years, Chief Edwin K. Clark seems to have found a new lease of political life. A politician who was long past his shelf life, and one that had frankly become a national nuisance, the emergence of Goodluck Jonathan has tweaked life back into the expired drug, as it were. The exhumation of Chief Clark’s obscure birth date saw the appearance of groveling birthday advertisements in Nigerian newspapers as well as what THISDAY newspaper’s glossy STYLE pullout of Sunday, June 13, 2010, described as “a night of salutes and cheers as close friends and well wishers celebrated the lavish surprise birthday of E.K. Clark. The event took place poolside at the Mediterranean club Abuja”. How did Clark, who spent the past few years defending the atrocities of Niger Delta PDP-thugs-turn-militants, suddenly become the toast of a “lavish surprise birthday” that attracted AGIPS like Nasir El-Rufai? Well, the answer must be sought in the new dispensation.
Chief Clark is now a “godfather” of sorts to Jonathan Goodluck; he is the main elder pulling the strings of the “Jonathan-must-run” orchestra. He can also put in a word for those seeking consideration for jobs or patronage, and that explains the reification of the old man. Chief E.K. Clark has made a remarkable metamorphosis and has become so well sought after in the Jonathan Goodluck era in Nigeria, and his main assignment is to uproot all obstacles in the way of the emergence of Jonathan as president in 2011. Already he is doing his darned best to destroy Northern Nigeria’s solidarity. How? He recently convened a “Middle Belt/South-South” conclave to whip up support for Jonathan, without inviting Muslim politicians from the North Central. Clark told them “If Jonathan is the leader sent by God to rule this country, he should be allowed to do so”. The rumour is that Chief Clark sits atop a huge war chest to achieve Jonathan Goodluck’s 2011 agenda. An expired drug can find new life; the elixir is money and access to power. Check out Chief E.K. Clark, the new Mister-Fix-It!