by Dare Lawal
Nyesom Wike is in the news again for a controversial statement he made during a reception and the grand finale of the inauguration of units of the Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI) in Obio/Akpor LGA of the state. The GDI is a political action group established by Nyesom Wike allegedly to realise his political ambitions.
The minister of state for education who allegedly has intentions to succeed Gov. Amaechi as governor of Rivers state in 2015 has spent the last two months in campaign mood despite the ASUU strike which has shut down public universities in the country.
Several groups have cautioned the minister from making unguarded utterances capable of heating up the polity and the Rivers governor, through his chief of staff, Tony Okocha, also released a statement condemning Wike.
We’ll reproduce the said statement by Wike and allow you be the judge on whether it’s worth all the uproar, but first here’s how the chief of staff to Gov. Amaechi reacted.
He said: “Wike’s statement is a very dangerous one that deserves every serious-minded security apparatus to investigate; we are not deterred at all, but the issue is that it leaves much to be desired for a serving minister of the nation to be that lose and uncouth to say that he would make a state uncomfortable for the governor of that state.
“What we should be worried about is what does he think he would have such powers, who does he rely on to do that? Whatever his answers are, we are not worried at all because Governor Rotimi Ameachi will not invest in violence, he would rather invest in things that will bring peace and development to the state.”
Now what did Wike say to prompt that reaction?
The minister said:
“They said we are nobody. Then they have seen. When you are dealing with nobody, be careful. The nobody will show you that he is somebody. We will make sure they will not sleep again. As they are sleeping, they will not sleep with their two eyes closed. One eye will be open, because they know there is danger.
“Those who are saying they must remove me, I have even overstayed. For you to be minister for two years, you must thank your God. If today we are no longer minister, do not worry yourself. It will not change us. We will continue to fight for what we believe in.
“We were not minister when we fought for them in 2007. When we were here, they were not having problems. Now, we have gone, they are having problems.
“We have always told them: you cannot do it. What you do not know, you do not know. It does not matter, whatever money you have, money cannot buy everything. Now, they are having sleepless nights. When we were here, were they having sleepless nights?
“When we were here, were they not travelling up and down? Are they travelling again? Tell them, they should come and beg us. Tell them to come back and beg us. We will tell them the secret. What God has not given to you, you do not need to do anything about it.
“I can assure you, all they are asking for: they want a commissioner of police that will be arresting you. Anytime they call the CP, he will arrest you. But let me tell you, we are not interested in whoever comes here (CP), all we are interested in is to have somebody who will not be partial.
“Let them bring whoever they want to bring (as CP).We want somebody who will want democracy to be practised in Rivers State. They said one man, one vote. Now, they do not want one man, one vote again.
“Obio/Akpor LGA is not a place you can toy with. Those who feel they can suspend Obio/Akpor council officials, we will make them uncomfortable. They felt once they had dissolved the council, they would sleep.
“The party has suspended them, because they have touched the lion and when you touch the lion, you know the consequences. Since they said the councillors will not take their salaries, they also will know that they will not belong to the PDP.
“The party chairman (Chief Felix Obuah) warned them and they said he would not be able to do anything. At the end of the day, they are going to court to challenge us. We will meet them in court. We are not afraid of the court. We are accustomed to it. All the ones they have gone, we have been winning them and we will continue to win them.
“They are doing everything they can. They are using their power and their money. Money cannot solve all problems. Sometimes, you have to come back home and realise that the people matter a lot. It is the power of the people that has put us in positions and you must come back to thank the people.
“Forget about what they are doing to you (his supporters). Do not worry. We are all together. Do not lose hope. God is on the throne.”