President Bola Tinubu yesterday, candidly expressed that there are no quick fixes to the pressing issues faced by Nigeria. He once again implored Nigerians to show patience and understanding, considering the difficulties stemming from the removal of the petroleum subsidy.
Nevertheless, he provided reassurance that beyond the current hardships, a brighter tomorrow awaits.
The President shared these sentiments during an event in Abuja where he unveiled “Brutally Frank,” a 688-page autobiography chronicling the life of former Federal Commissioner for Information and South-South Leader, Chief Edwin Clark.
President Tinubu emphasized that resolving Nigeria’s challenges cannot be as instantaneous as preparing a cup of coffee. He likened the nation’s current struggles to the pains of childbirth, acknowledging that after the difficult phase, joy will follow.
With a positive outlook, he expressed confidence that the government’s palliative measures will help alleviate the difficulties and distress being faced
Tinubu was represented by George Akume
Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume, Tinubu praised Clark as an exceptional individual, a true luminary among men, embodying the Iroko of South-South and the Eagle of Nigeria.
Akume conveyed Tinubu’s message, stating,“He (Tinubu) has also asked me to tell this gathering that we are going through a difficult phase in the history of this country. But these pains are pains of birth, the birth of a new nation. And that if you want to celebrate a child, a baby, the mother must go through some pain.
He continued that ultimately, the rewards will be evident. Just as the arrival of a baby brings forth jubilation and festivity, so shall our celebration.
In addition, Akume said that the immediate solutions to problems are not as swift as coffee and that Nigerians must persevere with the knowledge that a positive outcome is inevitable. The removal of fuel subsidies has triggered certain challenges, but countermeasures are in place, including the dispatch of 100 trucks of fertilizers and grains to states, with more to come. Additional buses are also on the way.
We can endure these hardships briefly, recognizing that today’s struggles pave the way for a brighter tomorrow. A nation’s greatness is grounded in the hope its citizens hold, anticipating a better future.
Tinubu’s message to Clark
Regarding Chief E. K. Clark, President Tinubu conveyed deep respect and admiration. Clark’s reputation precedes him nationwide. Tinubu reminisced about his personal connection to Clark’s name during his schooling years and acknowledged Clark’s role as a unifying force in Nigeria. Clark’s autobiography exemplifies his commitment to the country’s unity and showcases his legendary status as the Iroko of the South-South and a national symbol, sentiments that President Tinubu fully supports.
Gowon sees Clark as a trusted confidant
General Gowon, who appointed Clark as the Federal Commissioner for Information, highlighted Clark’s pivotal role as a confidant and the government’s resolute advocate. Clark fearlessly championed the government’s causes and bolstered its public image.
Gowon acknowledged Clark’s strong character and noted that despite his firm convictions, Clark expressed his opinions with respect. As the sole surviving member of Gowon’s cabinet, Clark played a significant role in clarifying government policies and fostering national cohesion.
In his capacity as the event’s chairperson, Gowon emphasized their harmonious relationship, characterized by respectful exchanges. Although Clark possessed a commanding presence, there were instances where he passionately disagreed with colleagues, commissioners, and military personnel, working tirelessly to persuade them of his viewpoints.
Gowon, who authored the book’s foreword, lauded Clark as an eminent Nigerian who has made substantial contributions to the nation’s advancement and progress.
Gowon’s take on why he appointed Clark as a Minister
Reflecting on the past, Gowon recalled appointing Clark as the Minister of Information in the former military administration. This choice stemmed from his desire to find a suitable successor to Anthony Enahoro during that period.
Gowon stated, “The need to fill in the void created by Enahoro’s exit was what gave Clark the job of minister in the government, which I headed. He became my confidant and the voice of the government, fearlessly defending the government and projecting its image. I found comfort in always discussing government and other issues with Clark most amicably.”
Jonathan says he provided priceless contributions to Nigeria
Former President Goodluck Jonathan remarked, “In fact, Clark is one of those few Nigerians that his name should be written in letters of gold in our political history book. And not because he’s my father but I knew his contribution. When I set up the 2014 National Conference, there was a debate about percentages of 70 percent or two third or a quarter or whatever that could make them come up and agree on something.
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