Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that for the All Progressives Congress (APC) to even contemplate presenting a governorship candidate for the 2019 election in the state shows that something is fundamentally wrong with the party.
Speaking in an interview at the Government House, Port Harcourt, wednesday, Wike stated that aside the plot to rig, the APC has no platform to campaign upon in Rivers State.
“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.
“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,” he queried.
He expressed regret that the APC does not believe in credible polls, noting that rigging and fraud is in the DNA of the party.
“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 do not matter. Just take Rivers State first”, he said.
Wike said as a Minister of State for Education, his contributions to the development of the State are scattered across the state. He wondered why the current Minister of Transportation has, in his words, failed the people of Rivers State by refusing to attract a single project to the state.
His words: “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 N500million to Ken Saro Wiwa Polytechnic and Ignatius Ajuru University of Education. I am from Rivers State and must contribute to the development of 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.”
He said as Governor of Rivers State, he has transformed the state, siting key projects across the state, adding that his third year anniversary celebration underscored the fundamentals of good governance with leaders across Political, traditional and social divides inaugurating key projects.
He disclosed that in October, his administration would commence another leg of project inauguration. He said President Muhammadu Buhari would be invited to inaugurate projects, even though he would be unlikely to honour the invitation for political reasons.
On the actions of the EFCC on the management of Rivers State finances under his leadership, Wike maintained that the law is settled that the commission has no powers to investigate the state government.
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. “
He noted that the EFCC can only be taken seriously if it operates within the rule of law by successfully appealing the 2007 judgment between the commission and the State Government.
“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”, he said.
He said that the current peace and serenity being enjoyed in the state was the handiwork of God, as the APC Federal Government has been plotting insecurity to no avail. He said even though his administration has invested heavily in logistical and financial support to security agencies, God has stopped all evil plots of the APC Federal Government from manifesting.
He said: “It’s God. Whatever you do believe in God. The present APC Government did everything to turn Rivers State as a place of insecurity. I believe in God. This state is a Christian State. This state is one state that has supported security agencies in this country. I have been sabotaged, but God in his infinite has kept us in this state. “