by Dare Lawal
In Port Harcourt on Saturday, the minister of state for education, Nyesom Wike, stated that the only condition for peace between him and the governor, was for the suspended chairman and councillors of Obio/Akpor Local Government in Rivers State to be recalled.
He disclosed this after his appearance before the Performance Assessment Committee set up by the party to evaluate public office appointees and elected officials from the state.
Wike said that he was not responsible for the over-heating of the polity as alleged by the Rivers government and denied violating the ban on campaign for the 2015 elections by circulating his posters for the governorship race.
He said: “I was told that my posters are everywhere. These are politicians. They will just wake up one early morning and try to be mischievous. Do not bother yourself. We know their antics. We know this game. People just do what they like.
“One of them was even defending it this (yesterday) morning that I was the one who put the posters. As a good politician, does it make sense? I am a minister and I will be pasting my posters. Does it make sense? You can see that people are very mischievous, just to find one thing or the other to say.
“What utterances have I made that are heating up the polity? I said those who want to destroy Obio/Akpor LGA, they will not sleep. If you want to destroy my house, will I allow you to sleep?
“Those who are accusing me of not doing my work, are they those who appointed me? Has Mr. President said I am not doing my work? I do my work. From Monday to Friday, I am in Abuja. Then Friday, I come back home to see my people. What is wrong with that?
“For me is that PDP must go from strength to strength. We do not want PDP to lose any election. Nobody will take us by surprise. I am doing my work. Mr. President knows that. There is nothing you will do that people will not criticise. If you are quiet, they will say why is he quiet? If you are not quiet, they will say why is he talking too much?”
He also denied that he will be leading the state’s delegation to this weekend’s mini convention of the party in Abuja in the absence of the governor who is currently on suspension by the PDP.
“In my local government (Obio/Akpor), I know who the delegates are. I do not know the delegates from other LGAs. It is only the party chairman who can ascertain who are the delegates.
“Except those who are automatic delegates, like the governor, who is a member of the Board of Trustees (BOT), senators, House of Representatives members, party chairmen, assembly members. 27 (of 32 loyal to Amaechi) Rivers House of Assembly members have been suspended and will not be able to participate.
“Since they have been suspended from the party, they cannot take part in the activities of the party, until their suspension is lifted. It has nothing to do with me. Me leading the delegation is neither here nor there.”
On ASUU strike, Wike said: “Am I not part of the negotiating team? My comment is what the Federal Government has done. We are pleading with ASUU members to go back to the classroom, with the N130 billion the Federal Government has released. Let us start from there and let them go back to the classroom.
“I do not know what you mean by force. Nothing can be enough. We are appealing to them (ASUU members). The Federal Government has done something. In the interest of our children and in the interest of our nation, they should go back to the classroom. Nothing like force. We cannot force anybody.”