The pan-Igbo socio-cultural organization Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has congratulated elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, on his 96th birthday. In a statement by National Publicity Secretary Alex Ogbonnia yesterday, the group described the one-time Federal Commissioner of Information as “a moral edifice, fearless justice crusader, astute politician, philanthropist, pathfinder and one of the most upright icons in present-day Nigeria”. Ohanaeze ascribed to Clark, the authorship of “Boarding Pass Theory”, stating that at 70 and above, one is already at a departure hall with a boarding pass waiting to board an airplane.
It said: “That the airplane designated for Clark has not arrived since 26 years ago is because it has pleased the Almighty to reward him for the invaluable services he has rendered to the good people of Nigeria at the various stages of his eventful life. “Sir, in your track record of accomplishments, you have displayed empathy, selflessness, benevolence and milk of human kindness. You have cared for the poor, the widows, the dispossessed, the oppressed and the downtrodden. “The E K Clark Foundation has birthed the E K Clark University.
You have demonstrated consistency, charismatic inter- ethnic relations, sacrifice, hero- ism and candour. Your character comeliness, intellectual prowess, visionary and prophetic uncompromising stand on national issues are exceptional; and of course, the above virtues have cast your name in gold for generations yet unborn. “The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu describes Chief Clark as one of the most detribalized Nigerian patriots with surpassing credentials.”
Iwuanyanwu commended the leader of the National Leader of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) for his support for the achievements recorded by the Obi-Datti movement in the presidential election.” He said the Ijaw leader and Afenifere leader Pa Ayo Adebanjo inspired him to accept the challenge to lead Ohanaeze Ndigbo; explaining that if the duo who are above 90 could render selfless services in pursuit of equity and justice for the Igbo nation, it will be inexcusable for him to abandon his people when they needed him most at 81.
Ohanaeze added: “Recall that Chief Clark has in more than several ways demonstrated an intense passion for the Igbo. It was Chief Clark who facilitated the renovation and equipment of the Queens School Enugu with state-of-the-art facilities shortly after the civil war. “Eminent Igbo women that passed through the school, such as Justice Rose Ukeje (rtd), Justice Victoria Nebo, Prof. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Prof. Ifeoma Enemuo, Prof. Ifeoma Egbuonu, Mrs. Justina Offia (SAN), Prof. Gloria Chukwukere, etc, are some of the testaments of Clark’s magnanimity.”