Rivers State Governor, Barr. Nyesom Ezenwon Wike, has flayed the anti-graft agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government, accusing the administration of one-sidedness in its fight against corruption.
Speaking on Sunday, February 7, 2016, during a thanksgiving service in celebration of his victory at the Supreme Court, Wike said he would rather fight corruption his own way than support the anti-graft campaign of the current administration.
“We would not support the fight against corruption. People took our money from the state, and we wrote to the police asking them to go and make a statement; nothing has come out of it,” he said. “We won’t take anybody to the EFCC because I know what would happen. We know how to fight our own way. We won’t support that war against corruption that they are doing.”
Wike, who said he would have given up if the verdict did not end in his favour, said through the ruling, the apex court helped in preventing bloodshed in the state. “Blood would have flown if the election was going to hold again,” he said “So, I called some people, including the chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus that I was not going to run again. They said why and I explained that if I did, many people would die.
“I pray that my enemy should continue to have permanent high blood pressure. I wouldn’t pray that God will heal them. My own has come down now, and for several months it was high. It is time for their own to rise.”
Speaking further on the Supreme Court Victory and possible reason why INEC shifted the Rivers State re-run elections, in the House of Assembly and National Assembly, from February 6 – March 19, 2016, Wike said, “They fixed re-run elections for 6th of February with hope that Supreme Court will send me away on 27th of January.
They have perfected plan to arrest me on Wednesday 28th of January just to demoralize PDP members in rivers state so that they will be able to use federal might to win all Senate, House of Reps and State House of Assembly seats in favour of APC.
“But when Supreme Court upheld my election, they felt disappointed and INEC shifted rerun elections. I called INEC chairman in Abuja that why did you shift the rerun elections, Professor Mahmud was only stammering with flimsy excuse.
I challenged him that Rivers people are ready and that he should let election take place as planned. That is to further tell you their calculated plan on Rivers State, but God disappointed them”, the victorious Governor Wike enthused.
Governor Wike noted that God worked in his time by reversing what several persons thought was irreversible with the previous judgments of the Election Tribunal and the Appeal Court.
He said: “Nothing is impossible with God. Men of God prophesied a few days to the Supreme Court that the judgment will confirm the mandate given to us by the Rivers people.
“We won the election clearly as has been confirmed by the Supreme Court. If there was a rerun, I wouldn’t have contested because there would have been bloodbath. I resolved not to be part of anything that would bring bloodbath. “
On the forth-coming re-run elections in Rivers State, Governor Wike vowed that he would thwart any attempt by any person or group to rig the March 19 rerun elections in Rivers State, declaring that any INEC staff who attempts to rig will be treated as an armed robber.
He said: “I am the executive governor of Rivers State and a strong one for that matter. We will support INEC to conduct credible elections. However, any official who plans to rig will get the treatment reserved for armed robbers “.
He noted that the failure of the evil plotters means that Rivers people will return all the Legislators whose elections were nullified by the Appeal Court.
Governor Wike called for a comprehensive fight against corruption, urging support for the prosecution for all those who stole Rivers money to sponsor APC National election campaign.
He said that between December 1 and December 18, 2014, the former Rivers State Government used $150 million United States Dollars to fund the APC elections, even as he stressed that the State Government will recover all stolen funds.
The governor stretched out the olive branch to the Rivers State APC Governorship Candidate, Dakuku Peterside and while extending his hand of fellowship to the defeated opponent, said that he will be accommodated in the process of developing the state, adding that Dakuku Peterside is not an orphan.
“I will be a father to Dakuku Peterside. He is not an orphan”, Wike promised.
The Governor, who was alluding to statements made by his opponent, Peterside at a stakeholders’ meeting he held with the hierarchy of the APC led by its National Chairman, Chief Odigie Oyegun, where the former had allegedly referred to APC members in the state as orphans, said it was wrong for Dakuku to have described himself as an “orphan”.
“Dakuku said they are now like orphans when they went to visit him (Oyegun). Dakuku, you are not an orphan. I am your father. I am here.
“How can you have a father and you say you are an orphan. I am your father. Come, I will bless you. Come.
“The Archbishop has said that I’m not the father of just PDP. I am the father of everybody. So, Dakuku cannot be an orphan. Come and contribute your quota to the state,” Wike said.
Governor Wike then assured the people of Rivers State that he will judiciously use the mandate to advance the course of development in the state.
Earlier in his sermon, Ignatius Kattey, a reverend who presided over the service, urged Wike to remain grateful to God for his victory adding that the victory of Governor Wike at Supreme Court has brought peace to the state. He called on the governor to be father of all the people of the state.
Governors Seriake Dickson, Bayelsa state, Udom Emmanuel, Akwa Ibom state Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia state, Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, Kelechi Igwe, former Rivers state governors, Peter Odili Celestine Omehia and immediate past Nigeria’s first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, were among the guest in attendance at the epoch making event.