Wike, Leave Odili Alone

In what his critics described as his characteristic manner of switching loyalty and dumping his benefactors, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, last week said he no longer have a smooth relationship with former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, because “there are some political differences.”

In chat with journalists in Abuja, Wike when asked if his relationship with Odili has gone frosty, said: “As it is today, politically, we don’t have a good relationship. We don’t work together.”

Before this development, Wike had at many public functions described Odili, who was Rivers governor from May 1999 to May 2007, as his political father and leader. He had openly declared that he would not have achieved anything in politics but for Odili and his wife, Justice Mary Odili.

On one occasion in Port Harcourt, Wike had reportedly sworn that God should not make him grow if he abandoned Odili and his family.

Watchers of the politics of Rivers State believe that what he meant by “political differences” between him and Odili, is not unconnected with the rift between him and the current governor, Siminalayi Fubara, who is facing impeachment threats by the state House of Assembly.

It was gathered that before the rift became public knowledge, Odili had tried several times to nip it in the bud but failed because the minister did not want any intervention. 

A top politician in the state who is close to the two former governors told THISDAY that on many occasions, Wike refused to pick Odili’s phone calls, all because he thought he had the capacity to unseat the governor.

For the minister, once anyone disagrees with him on any issue, the person becomes an enemy.

Last week, the paramount ruler of the Tiv Nation, HRM James Ayatse, brokered peace between Benue State Governor, Hyacinth Alia and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume.

The traditional ruler, who was worried over what their disagreements were causing the state, invited the duo to a meeting. Even though details of the meeting were not made public, the traditional ruler while briefing journalists on the outcome, said the duo agreed to reconcile their differences, and shook hands.

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