Edwin Clark (born 25 May 1932) is a Nigerian nationalist, Ijaw leader and politician from Delta State who worked with the administrations of Military Governor Samuel Ogbemudia and Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon between 1966 and 1975. In 1966, he was a member of an advisory committee to the Military Governor of the Mid-Western State, David Ejoor and was appointed Federal Commissioner of Information in 1975.
Clark was an unofficial advisor to President Goodluck Jonathan. He is a philanthropist who founded the Edwin Clark Foundation and established a university in his hometown.
Early life and education
Clark was born in Kiagbodo, in Ijaw area of Delta State, he attended primary and secondary schools at Effurun, Okrika and Afugbene before completing further studies at the Government Teacher Training College, Abraka. Thereafter, Clark worked briefly as a school teacher before traveling abroad to earn a law degree.
Clark’s involvement in the political process began during the pre-independence period when he was elected as Councillor for Bomadi in 1953. Clark later joined NCNC. While a student at Holborn College, he was active in the West African Student Union.
After the military coup of January 1966, Clark was among a group of delegates from the Mid-West who opposed any ideas of confederation that were raised at an ad-hoc constitutional conference constituted by Gowon in 1966. The delegation’s mandate was Nigerian unity and when proposals of a loose federation were tabled the regions delegates asked for adjournment. He was later appointed Midwestern commissioner of Education and later Finance. As commissioner for education, he was active in the establishment of a Mid-west College of Technology that became the foundation of University of Benin.
During the second republic, he was a member of the national executive committee of NPN and was the Bendel State treasurer of the party. In 1983, he was an elected senator for three months at the twilight of the Shagari administration.
Beginning in 1996, Clark has been a self described leader of the Ijaw nation. He supported the Ijaw ethnic group in Delta State during an ethnic crisis in Warri and has led Ijaw leadership delegations to meet political leaders.
He is the owner of Edwin Clark University which was established in 2015.