By Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Former Ministers have declared their support for the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, in the face of what they described as a political siege on Rivers State as masterminded by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
They asked the governor to stand firm in his defence of democracy.
In a solidarity visit to Wike at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Thursday night, representatives of the minister under the aegis of Forum of Former Ministers lauded the governor for being a pillar of democracy and providing the right leadership for Rivers people.
The Representatives of the Forum of Former Ministers at the Solidarity Meeting include: former Minister of Foreign Affairs and former Jigawa State Governor, Dr. Slue Lamed; former Minister of Education and former Kano State Governor, Mall am Ibrahim Shakira; former Minister of Youth Development and former Adamawa State Governor, Mr. Boni Haruna; former Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro; former Minister of Women Affairs, Iyom Josephine Anenih; former Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada; and the former Minister, Ambassador Musa Kazaure.
Chairman of the Forum of Former Minister, Dr. Lamido, stated that the solidarity visit to Wike was aimed at encouraging him to remain steadfast and focused in his promotion of the tenets of democracy.
He said: “We are with you in your travails. We support you all the way. We know that you are under siege by anti-democratic forces.
“No matter the tyranny of the oppressor, the voice of the people must be heard. That was the case of Rivers State during the Rivers Rerun Elections.”
Lamido regretted that every day, Nigerians were being divided by the APC-led Federal Government, which has no respect for the principles of democracy.
The Forum of Former Ministers urged PDP Governors to provide a canopy for the revival of the PDP.
“Nigerians are looking on to the PDP for salvation and emancipation from the APC. Our governors must stand together to be our rallying point,” he said.
In his response, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, declared that for the Rivers people, they have resolved to remain with the PDP
He said: “We will continue to stand firm and defend democracy. For us, we have made up our mind. Our family is PDP.
“We are prepared to pay the price. We are determined to work for the PDP at all times.”
The governor said the crisis in the party would soon be resolved in the interest of the country.
He explained that the state has had her rerun elections, learnt the required lessons which would guide it in the future.
“Don’t have sleepless nights. The PDP will remain strong in Rivers State. We will continue the struggle against anti-people forces and we shall continue to win,” he declared.
Meanwhile, Wike, has given his assent to the 2017 Appropriation Law passed by the Rivers State House of Assembly, with a pledge to accelerate the development of the State.
The Rivers State Government budgeted N470 billion for the 2017 Fiscal year, christened “the Golden Jubilee budget for accelerated development.”
Giving his assent to the 2017 budget, Wike commended the Rivers State House of Assembly for always placing the interest of the people above other considerations.
He said: “You passed the budget on time so that the State Government will continue to deliver dividends of democracy to the good people of Rivers State.
“I sincerely thank the state lawmakers for supporting the executive arm to provide basic infrastructure to the people of the state”.
He assured the people that his administration would ensure the diligent implementation of the 2017 budget in line with the tenets of the New Rivers Vision.
He said that funds meant for other arms of government would be released as scheduled.