Politics

How Army Invaded My Country Home – Clark

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Elder statesman and former federal commissioner of Information, Chief Edwin Clark, yesterday disclosed that military personnel invaded and ransacked his country home in Delta State last Saturday over claims that they were looking for the community chairman of Okuoma Community, where 17 military personnel were recently killed.

Clark said the soldiers, numbering between 30 and 40 came in about five trucks loaded, also invaded the home of his late brother Ambassador Akporode Blessing Clark, who served as Nigeria's Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Recall that 17 soldiers were recently  ambushed and killed in the Okuama community of Ughelli South local government area of Delta State which led to a national outcry.

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The military has since launched a manhunt to arrest the culprits, creating tension in the area.

However, the elder statesman, who was in Abuja at the time of the invasion, said the Army invaded his country home, by land and air, breaking into his house that was securely locked.

He said the soldiers dragged out his late brother's son who was taking a bath, and also matched out staff living in the buildings, including lecturers at the university and made them sit on bare ground.

The Niger Delta leader however noted that the commanding officer Nigerian Army Division in Port Harcourt, who called to notify him of the soldiers' action, and apologised on behalf of the Army.

While he said he accepted the apology of the military, he also condemned the killing of the 17 soldiers and called for the arrest of the culprits.

Clark described the killing of the soldiers' as barbaric, adding that it should not be tolerated.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja, Clark said, “At about 6pm on Saturday, 23rd March, 2024, I got a telephone call from someone who identified himself as the commanding officer Nigerian Army, Division in Port Harcourt.

“He said that a tracker of the Nigerian Army, had tracked one Mr. Vote, the community chairman of Okuoma Community, whom the Army was looking for in respect of the killings of the 17 men of the Nigerian Army, to a house in Ughelli; and that the military men had broken into the house, ransacked it, before they were informed that the house belongs to me, that he was very sorry and apologising to me on behalf of the Army.

 

“In my usual way and as a leader who is expected to condone as much as possible, I accepted his apology whole heartedly, but told him that I do not own a house in Ughelli, that the house he is referring to, could be my father's. I went on to sympathise with the Nigerian Army over the gruesome murder of the soldier, an action I had condemned severally the moment I heard of it in the news. I assured him that we will all work within our powers to avail the security agencies with any available information that would unravel the whole thing and bring the perpetrators to book. We ended the discussion on a cordial note.

 

“It was not long after that, I was inundated with calls from my home, Kiagbodo, telling me how the army had invaded my country home by land and by air. That they came in about 5 trucks loaded with armed soldiers numbering between 30 and 40. They my house, used their legs to break open all the doors in the compound including the security door to my sitting room which was locked because I reside in Abuja. At the same time, flying their drone within the premises. Some of them went to the buildings behind the main house, and also broke all the doors that were locked. They matched out my staff living in those buildings, including lecturers at the university; made them to sit on bare ground.

 

“They also broke into my late brother, Ambassador Akporode Blessing Clark's house; a man who served this country internationally in various capacities, including as Nigeria's Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; as both of us share the same premises. They brought out his son almost naked, as the young man was taking a bath, when they stormed the house.”

 

He added that all their phones were seized. The people had to identify themselves, and told them whose house it was, before they asked for my telephone number, which they said they will pass to their “oga”', before they all departed. One would have expected that at this juncture, a call could have been put to the Governor of Delta State, to inform him of what happened.

 

“I immediately called back the commanding officer to tell him of the actions of his men. And he said he was aware, and that was why he called to apologise.”


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