Wike: Coming to Abuja Reminded Me of My Election Defeat

Alex Enumah in Abuja

Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike at the weekend said his coming to Abuja reminded him of his defeat during the presidential primary of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held on May 28 at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium.

Wike made this known at a book launch in Abuja at the weekend.

The book, titled: ‘Flowing Justice: Selected Leading Judgments of the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court,’ was authored by retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Abdu Aboki, and was unveiled by the governor.

Wike said: “I want to once again congratulate My Lord, Hon Justice Abdu Aboki JSC for giving me this opportunity to be here and to be the chief launcher.

“But why I said My Lord did not do well is because if he had held this in Lagos or Kano, I would have been happy,” he said.

Wike said that when he arrived in Abuja and sighted the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, he recalled his presidential poll experience.  

“When I landed and then passed through the venue. I said I think My Lord intentionally wanted me to remember the 28 and 29 of May of what happened.

“Well, but life continues,” he said jokingly. 

According to him, the day of the book launch was his first time coming to Abuja after losing the election.

He said unlike Governor Bello who had visited Abuja several times even after losing the All Progressives (APC) presidential primary, he had remained in his state.

“I am not like Yahaya Bello who lost and he comes (to Abuja) every day,” he added.

He hailed Justice Aboki’s commitment to the protection of justice and rule of law, noting that “Justice Aboki is a consummate jurist who has left his name indelibly in the sands of time and judicial history.

“While judges are of different social, economic and political persuasion, Honourable Justice Abdu Aboki prides himself among the progressive rank that stands up to what is right and just, and believes that the law and the constitution, as interpreted and enforced by the court must both protect and advance the unity and wellbeing of the nation and her citizens.”

In his response, Kogi State Governor said among the governors in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, both Wike and himself are different.

Speaking further at the event, Bello commended Justice Aboki for his immense guidance to him and his government in Kogi and prayed to God to continue to preserve his life.

Bello noted that though it might seem the country was currently troubled,  “no democracy can be perfected as we have it today in the US without encountering challenges.”

Justice Aboki, who said he felt excited and elated after his retirement in good health, thanked everyone for attending the occasion.

He urged the federal government to promptly appoint a replacement for those who have left the apex court’s bench, noting that those left behind would now be overburdened with his exit and that of those before him.

Aboki, therefore, advocated reforms, particularly the amendment of the constitution to reduce the number of cases filed at the Supreme Court.

He said certain interlocutory applications should not be countenanced by the Supreme Court, while other political cases, except that of the presidential election, should terminate at the court below.

Wike unveiled 200 copies of the book with a sum of N100 million.

The event, which was put together by a group of senior lawyers, including Prof. Yemi Akinseye-George (SAN) and Ahmed Raji (SAN), had in attendance some past and serving justices of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, politicians, traditional rulers, among others.

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