To say Papa is an imitable icon, will be an understatement. He is not only a father of nations; he is also an enigma of detribalized intercontinental leadership.
His affection for Nigeria’s development dates back to his early 20s, when he served his primary constituency, Burrutu of the Mid-Western Region as a headmaster and community development officer, giving significant contributions to the development of education and the mobilization of the people for community development.
He has served in various local, regional and national capacities, including as a Commissioner for Education, Finance and Establishment in the old Bendel State in the 70s, Federal Minister for Information and National Orientation during the civil war till 1975 when General Gowon’s regime was terminated, as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1983 and today as the indisputable leader of the Ijaw Nation among others. Chief E. K. Clark is a father to all, and an alumnus of the Holborn College of Law, London. He was called to the Bar in England as a member of the Honorable Society of the Inner Temple and as a Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria over 50 years ago!
My relationship with Papa, as most of his associates and even family members now fondly call him, more than a decade ago when my professional competence as a lawyer was called upon to give legal effect to his leadership and anti-corruption causes, and I can say without mincing words, that knowing him has been of tremendous positive impact, in growth and development to my law firm, Kayode Ajulo & Co. Castle of Law.
In Papa, I’ve found a professional and political father, from whom I have learnt to continuously maintain the quantum of social justice, without fear or favour.
Today, I join the world at large to celebrate the man of the moment, the voice to the voiceless, the peace in turbulent storm, and the definition of a worthy patriot.
I salute the undisputed living father of the Ijaw Nation who is a unifying figure for all Ijaws at home and in the diaspora. Standing for hope, fairness, faith, progress, justice and equity, words can neither adore you, nor do praises revere you enough, for your immense contribution to our Nigeria, Africa, and the world at large.
And I must say that I am most honored to identify with you today on the celebration of a life of excellence and greatness at 93
Happy Birthday, Gogorogo! may your bright light shine on!