Nigeria: Rivers forum says Wike can’t give Amaechi conditions
THE Rivers State Peoples Forum has said that, for peace to return to the state, the Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, cannot give conditions to the Governor Rotimi Amaechi.
Wike had, during an interaction with newsmen in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Saturday, insisted that those that were bent on making Obio/Akpor Local Government Area uncomfortable would be made uncomfortable.
He was quoted to have said that for peace to return to the state, the governor must return the suspended chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area and councilors to their positions.
The minister is from the local government area.
The lingering Rivers crisis has its root from the suspension of the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area chairmen and the councilors by the Rivers House of Assembly in April.
A statement signed by the RSPF President, Mr. Charles Bekwele, dismissed Wike’s statement as ‘laughable and ridiculous’.
Bekwele explained that the minister was in no position to give anyone conditions and insisted on its earlier call that Wike must be arrested and prosecuted for threatening the peace and people of Rivers State.
He said, “It is sad, very sad and unfortunate that Wike, who has openly threatened the peace and people of Rivers State, is still being allowed to roam the streets and make further inciting comments.
“Who does he (Wike) think he is to say the suspended Obio-Akpor council executive must be recalled for peace to return to Rivers State?
“For crying out loud, these people were suspended for monumental fraud and a serving minister is saying they should be recalled just like that, without any investigations.
“Wike threatened the peace and people of Rivers State. He said the state would be uncomfortable and ungovernable. It is on record, on tape, the video is on the internet and many newspapers reported it.
“He cannot try to twist it now. Wike must be arrested and tried for threatening the peace and people of Rivers State. The Inspector General of Police must act now. This man should not be allowed to roam the streets and continue to make more inciting comments.”
He also dismissed claims by the minister that his campaign posters were the handiwork of his detractors.
Bekwele said it was no surprise to Rivers people that Wike’s posters were in circulation because the minister had always been campaigning for the governorship position in the state.
“In Rivers State, it is a known fact that Wike has been going round local government areas of the state every week to fuel his campaign for governorship under the guise of inaugurating his Grassroots Democratic Initiative group.
“It is belated for him to come out now and cry wolf over his campaign posters being faked because it is already clear to Rivers people and even the country that Wike is campaigning to become governor and he started a long time ago,” the forum’s president noted.
He observed that the minister was engaged in campaigning for the state’s governorship position at a time when varsity lecturers were still on strike.
“At a time when the country’s education sector is in a state of comatose with the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the impending resumption of strike by their Polytechnic counterparts, Wike is too busy campaigning to be governor of Rivers State, even when there is no vacancy yet.
“Instead of Nyesom Wike, a junior minister to join the Minister of Education to tackle the problem, he is more interested in the local politics of Rivers State; going round the state week-in, week-out with his campaign for governorship in clear violation of INEC’s rule on 2015 campaigns,” Bekwele stressed.
But the Special Adviser to the minister, Mr. Simeon Nwakaudu, insisted that Wike had never declared any intention to contest the 2015 governorship election in Rivers State.
Nwakaudu, who spoke with our correspondent on Sunday, said it was wrong for anybody to insinuate that the minister declared an intention to run for the position of the governor.
On the claim that Wike had abandoned his job to face local politics in the state, Nwakaudu said the minister had never abandoned his work.
According to him, the minister is always working from Monday to Friday and visits his family like any other person.
Nwakaudu recalled that Wike met with different committees on Almajiri education last week and also interacted with the Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, to discuss education and its development in the state.