Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Governor of Rivers State, says the All Progressives Congress (APC) has no basis for challenging his governorship of the state.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governor said this in a statement by his Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, on Wednesday.
He said something must be “fundamentally wrong” with APC for contemplating presenting a candidate for the state gubernatorial election.
Wike boasted about his contribution to the development of Rivers State when he served as Minister of State for Education during the Goodluck Jonathan administration, while also challenging the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, to name a project he had attracted to the state.
He also suggested he would not cooperate with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the agencies probe of his government’s finances, specifically saying: “Nobody will appear before the EFCC until they follow the rule of law”.
“For the APC to even think of bringing up anybody against me in this state to challenge whether I have done something or not, then you know that something is fundamentally wrong,” he said.
“What has the Federal Government done for the APC in Rivers State? What has Rivers APC achieved? Mention one thing. Is it in terms of the roads, the airport or seaports? Tell me.
“All their meetings, all their gatherings at the federal level, whether by hook or crook, they must have Rivers State. They want to use soldiers, SARs, DSS. All cries by the international community don’t matter. Just take Rivers State first.
“When I was a Minister and he was in APC, I brought development to the state. For example, I brought Faculty of Law to the University of Port Harcourt. I brought grant of N500 million to Ken Saro Wiwa Polytechnic and Ignatius Ajuru University of Education. I am from Rivers State and must contribute to the development to the state. As at the time I was in the Federal Government, he was the Governor under APC and there was no development in the state. I brought UBEC intervention to Rivers State. This is my state.”
Also criticising President Muhammedu Buhari, Wike said that when he commence another series of project commissioning in October, the President would be invited to commission projects even though the invitation may not be honoured for political reasons.
He further said his opposition against the Fedeal Government is borne out of his quest for justice.
“I stand up against injustice and marginalisation. It has nothing to do with the Federal Government. If this government is not in place tomorrow and another government comes and they perpetrate injustice, I will stand up against them. It has nothing to do with Federal Government,” he said.
On the EFCC) investigation, he said: “I am not interested whether EFCC backs off or not. A body that does not respect the rule of law; a body that is full of impunity, that is what the Federal Government is all about, impunity. You heard the President say national interest supersedes rule of law. I am not against the EFCC fighting corruption, if at all they are fighting corruption.
“My concern is we must do it according to the law. The law says that we have a federation comprising the Federal Government, the states and the LGAs. We go to the monthly federal allocation when money comes to the federation and all tiers take their share. The Federal Government is now saying that the money that comes to states will be monitored.
“I was not here in 2007. Rivers State Government went to court against the EFCC to say the commission has no constitutional power to interrogate the finances, the expenses of the state government. And the matter was adequately addressed and judgment was given against EFCC. Since 2007, EFCC has been struggling to appeal the judgment. EFCC has not succeeded up till now. What they are doing now is when they feel a government is not pro-Buhari, let’s do this.
“Nobody will appear before the EFCC until they follow the rule of law. This country must not allow personal interest of individuals. That is a coup against the interest of Nigeria. No wonder the EFCC will go to Benue State and seal the account of the State Government. No wonder EFCC will go to Akwa Ibom State to seal the account of the State Government.”