Wike To Atiku: ‘I’m Fully In Charge Of Rivers…If You Say I’m Not Put Head And See’
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that no political aspirant will draw votes from Rivers in the 2023 General Election without according the state the respect it deserves.
Speaking during the commissioning of the Orochiri-Worokwu Flyover in Port Harcourt on Monday, Wike avowed that he was in “in charge” of Rivers and would not let anyone sideline the state no matter how highly placed.
Although Wike did not mention any name, he is believed to be referring to Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, with whom he has been at loggerheads for some time now.
Wike’s feud with Atiku had stemmed from the latter’s refusal to pick the Rivers governor as his running mate despite claim that 14 out of 17 members of a PDP panel preferred Wike as the vice-presidential candidate of the party.
The governor had during a recent interview accused Atiku of lying about reaching out to him for reconciliation of their differences after he (Atiku) picked Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as his running mate.
“If you say Rivers state does not matter, Rivers state will tell you, you don’t also matter at an appropriate time,” Wike said during the road commissioning by Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
“If you don’t like us, we would not like you. If you like us, we would like you. Nobody will use our votes for nothing, our votes will matter and Rivers state must benefit from anybody we are going to support. That’s the truth of the matter.”
The governor added, “Politics here is no longer about ‘vote for somebody’ (but) what would you do for the people of Rivers state? So, people should calm down. We are coming, nobody should panic. I’m fully in charge, don’t you know that? I am fully in charge! I’m not that kind of governor anybody can bring to Abuja to hold meeting, I’m not that kind of governor, I’m fully in charge here. If you say I’m not in charge, put your head and see whether you will come out, so all these big names, forget it. We are in charge.”
Governor Wike praised his Lagos State counterpart, Sanwo-Olu, for honouring his invitation to commission the project, noting that he was impressed about level of infrastructure development in his state.
“Anytime I come to Lagos, I see what you are doing, I’m so impressed, that’s why I say you too – come and see what we are doing, it has nothing to do with party, it has to do to compare notes and that’s the way we are suppose work. Party is a vehicle that takes you to a destination, you come down and show that you have capacity to do something for your people. This past two weeks we’ve been commissioning and flagging off, anybody who can do that, go and do it let us see. It is not by mouth, whether you hate us or not, there is nothing you can do about it. Don’t be jealous of us, do your own.
“Your excellency on behalf of the government and people of the state, I must sincerely thank you for honouring our invitation in spite of the short notice that was given to you, when I called you that we want you to come and commission this flyover, you graciously accepted. I want to sincerely, on behalf of our people, thank you.
“Since people knew you were coming to commission this flyover, Certain people have been saying, why did we invite Lagos state governor? Why now? And I have asked them questions, ‘when is the time stipulated to invite you to come and commission a flyover?’. The minister of works, Fashola was here, governor of Ekiti state was here, minister of sports was here, minister of health was here, vice-president was here, so, why is this one so worrying people? So, those of you who want to have hypertension, have hypertension! I have no regret of inviting you to come and commission this project, so I’m very very happy.”
In his remarks, Governor Sanwo-Olu had noted that infrastructure development was one of the primary responsibilities of “any serious government” anywhere in the world.
He said governments must provide roads, education, and transportation, amongst others, to improve the livelihood of citizens.
“You can hate him but you cannot hate what he has done, you cannot what you have seen even if you don’t like the man’s face. Governor Wike thank you very much for providing good governance to the people of Rivers State.
“As you can see, the flyover today is a design of an engineering masterpiece. Both the honorable commissioner and Messiers Julius Berger have attested to that and I want to say that indeed Governor Wike is also a “talk and do governor”,” said the Lagos governor.