By Ime Silas

The Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Mr. Nyesom Wike, has condemned recent media report in which he was alleged to have made disparaging comments against the former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, His Excellency, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. 

Wike, in a release signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, described the publication as preposterous, fabricated, malicious and intended to inflame relationship between Gov Wike and the former Lagos state governor, Tinubu.

Wike noted that Chief Tinubu, whom he described as ‘elder statesman’, has a hard earned reputation, hence he (Wike) had no reason, and, would not do anything to malign him.

The release reads thus in full: “The attention of the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has been drawn to false assertions attributed to him in an article written in The Guardian by Emmanuel Ande on February 5, 2021, titled: ” Tinubu cannot see presidency gate in 2023, says Wike.”

We wish to affirm that it is true that Governor Wike was in Yola, the capital of Adamawa State on February 4, to inspect some projects being executed by Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.    And while inspecting the Greater Interchange and Underpass in Yola , some journalists requested for an interview which he graciously obliged them.

The questions asked ranged from the purpose of his visit; the prospects of the Peoples Democratic Party winning the 2023 general election and Nigeria’s rating in the global corruption index recently published by Transparency International.

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At no time during the interview session that lasted about five minutes did Governor Wike mention the names of Chief Tinubu and the APC’s former  national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, or even alluded to them.

We, therefore consider the report by Mr Emmanuel Ande as preposterous, fabricated, malicious and intended to inflame relationship between Governor Wike and Chief Tinubu, whom the Rivers Chief Executive holds in high esteem.

“We wish to state without equivocation, that irrespective of political affiliation, Governor Wike has enormous respect for Chief Tinubu and will never say or do anything to malign the hard earned reputation of the elder statesman. The report  by Mr Ande is mischievous and aimed to discredit The Guardian.

“It is our belief that the reporter is probably acting as hireling of some treacherous political actors, who often capitalise on the susceptibility of some journalists to manipulate them to publish misleading or factually incorrect information for political purposes. We dare the reporter to provide any evidence to prove the veracity of his fabricated report.”

It would be recalled that Emmanuel Ande of The Guardian Newspaper had last week in a report captioned “Tinubu cannot see presidency gate in 2023, says Wike” reported as follows “Rivers State Governor Neysom Wike has urged National leader of ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, to channel his energy to other profitable ventures, stating that presidency would be out of reach of his party and himself come 2023 general elections.

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“Wike, who gave Tinubu the advice, yesterday, in Yola, Adamawa State, while on an inspection tour of projects being executed by Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, said with the high performance of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors and alleged failure APC government under President Muhammadu Buhari is recording on daily basis, it is clear that Nigerians would not repeat the mistake of voting a party without direction.

“With what I saw today in Adamawa, I wonder how a normal person will not vote PDP again in this state. What is happening in Adamawa State is a replica of what is happening in other PDP states.

“With the massive development going on in PDP states and the massive corruption going on under APC regime, it is no longer news that PDP is on its way back to chase out invaders and lawfully take over its house and pilot Nigerians to the promised land,” he stated.

The Rivers governor, who applauded Transparency International (TI) rating of Nigeria on corruption, said the present APC leadership accept and protect corrupt persons.

“Today, Wike can be the most corrupt governor, but immediately I decamp from PDP to APC, I am no longer corrupt. This means APC is a den for highly corrupt people. These are not my words, I am only quoting APC former national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole. Nigerians are intellectuals, they cannot enter again the boat that capsized with them,” he said.

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Wike noted that Nigeria has never been divided like it is being experienced now under APC regime and that insecurity has become a huge industry under the administration of President Buhari.

The governor, who accused media of constitutional betrayal, alleged that under the peaceful government of former President Goodluck Jonathan, media made the world to believe that Nigeria would collapse in the next 24 hours.

According to him, the unholy silence of media at a time that the country is under threat of insecurity, economic collapse midwife by unfocused leadership, poses more danger to the country.

“He advised APC leadership to move to Adamawa State and study how to develop people through projects, saying President Buhari could attest to development strides of Governor Fintiri.

Wike urged Fintiri not to be distracted by people he called envious political vultures, but to maintain his tempo of infrastructural development in Adamawa.

“Even I, as governor of an oil-producing state, I cannot construct underground flyover. I wonder where Fintiri is getting his money, but this is what we call, in PDP, determination to achieve. It is a strange word to the APC government. If you ask any of them to define development, that is the end of the discussion,” Wike said.

Fintiri, who commended Wike for the visit, assured the Rivers State governor that he would continue to offer PDP and Adamawa electorate services that would improve their livelihoods”