Foremost Ijaw leader and a former federal information commissioner, Chief Edwin Clark, on Tuesday revealed reasons why he sold his houses located in choice areas across the country to fund a private university at his country home of Kiagbodo, Burutu Council Area of Delta State.
The Niger Delta leader said the decision was to guard against infighting among his children over the sharing of his property after his death, as it has been among children of prominent Nigerians in the past.
Speaking during a press conference organised by the Edwin Clark University in Warri on Tuesday to announce the National Universities Commission’s approval of the institution to offer Law degree from the next academic session, Clark said he felt accomplished being about to establish the school.
Citing instances where some of his late prominent allies’ children had to fight to the extent of going to court over property left behind by their parents, he said he did not want to make similar mistakes for his children.
He said he had always wanted to bequeath to the present and the future generations a legacy, especially an institution, where he could unite all Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic or religious backgrounds.
While expressing delight at the NUC’s approval of the Law degree, he said that his school which had just concluded an academic session since its inception will unite young Nigerians whether from the North or the South.
“I believe in Nigeria! A Nigeria where everyone is treated equally. I established the private university to bring Nigerian youths together. I’m not a contractor and I never collected contracts under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“I sold some of my buildings in Lagos to fund the establishment of this institution. I also had a luncheon where some of my associates including Chief Afe Babalola donated some fund to Edwin Clark University. I’m fulfilled today that I was able to establish the school.
“This is what I want to bequeath to my children. I don’t want my children to fight over property when I am gone. They won’t fight over school. In fact, I am looking for people to buy some of my properties in Warri to fund my university.”
Clark, however, took a swipe at members of the National Assembly over the various controversies. He called on anti-graft agencies in the country to thoroughly investigate allegations of padding against the leadership of the House of Representatives.
He stated further that in the midst of the nation’s economic crisis, the federal lawmakers were not showing enough support for the recovery of the economy. Instead, he said, they were busy accusing one another of padding the budget with personal project which was not in the general good of the country.
While lending support to President Muhammadu Buhari‘s anti-corruption fight, he said the country should be restructured so that everyone, irrespective of ethnic differences, would be treated equally.