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Akpabio wouldn’t lose senatorial poll if he did well as gov –Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has cautioned the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, against taking on Rivers State.

His comment followed Akpabio’s reaction to the criticism by South-South governors over the way the Federal Government was handling the Niger Delta Development Commission.

The South-South Governors’ Forum led by its Chairman and Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, after a recent meeting in Port Harcourt, said they were not happy with the continued running of the NDDC by an interim administrator, as they called for a substantive board to be constituted for the commission.

Okowa said, “We are urging Mr President to ensure that if the board is not going to be immediately constituted, then funds for the NDDC beyond the payment of salaries should be put on hold until he constitutes the board and the board can then run the finances of the NDDC as per the law creating the NDDC.”

But Akpabio, while in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, said the governors could not give directives to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on inaugurating a substantive board for NDDC.

While accusing them of appointing caretaker committees to run their local governments, he queried what they were doing with the 13 per cent oil derivation accruing to them.

However, Wike, who spoke at the launch of the newly built secretariat for the Trade Union Congress in Ozuoba, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state on Friday, asked Akpabio not to dare the Rivers governor.

He said, “We will tell him that when he was the governor, he was acting like a king. There was money that time. The exchange rate was N150 per dollar. Today, it is N500 for a dollar. Akpabio had money but he had the temerity to ask South-South governors what they were doing with 13 per cent derivation.

Akpabio should not talk to Rivers State at all. He has no such authority. He is not qualified to talk to Rivers State. If he wants to talk, he should concentrate on Akwa Ibom State, or else, we teach him a lesson here. Akpabio should know that enough is enough.”

Wike added, “If he (Akpabio) should talk here, I will teach him a lesson. I am not a sycophant and I am not an inconsistent person. I don’t give a damn. He cannot say he sees me in the Villa. If he does it again, he will regret it. I am not one of those governors he can turn around.

“I will show you a video where the President said they should come and learn from me what we are doing here. He (Akpabio) went and asked so-called South-South militants that we should render an account of N55tn. Where did he get the N55tn from?

“Akpabio, be careful. Don’t go and pay money to people to type propaganda against governors. You will suffer for it at the end of the day. We know what Akpabio was doing as a governor. Now, he has the temerity to insult South-South governors. We will meet one day. If he did well, why did he fail his senatorial election? You will finish from Abuja and you will come here.”

Meanwhile, the Rivers governor also urged the organised labour in the country to rise and salvage the country from bad leadership, saying labour had lost its voice under the Buhari regime.

“Under former President Goodluck Jonathan, labour was alive. They said the country must come down because he is from a minority area. But look at what is happening. There is an increase in fuel pump price, insecurity, and increase in electricity tariff.

“Where is labour? Where is TUC (Trade Union Congress)?  Where is NLC (Nigeria Labour Congress)? The only thing I hear is minimum wage. Let the world hear it, labour has died,” the governor added, saying labour had forgotten its role and was currently chasing shadows.

Inaugurating the secretariat, TUC President, Quadri Olaleye, lauded Wike for completing the project and not abandoning it after starting the project.

Olaleye argued that Wike’s achievements had made him controversial, saying that was why he was one of those who also castigated the governor for his contributions to the judiciary, but that he “understands it better now.”



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