I have been on the danger list of the government and I have been saying it. Nobody is saying anything. I have been marked out for assassination. It is not hidden. People know. This government says it will use me as example for people to learn. – Wike
In an interview with Punch Newspaper, Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike was asked about his relationship with the Federal Government, his achievements so far, and the crisis bewildering his party, PDP, here are the excerpts:
A lot of APC governors came to campaign in your state during the rerun election?
Who are those that came? For example, the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, was asking my people to vote for APC. A man who can’t pay salaries and doesn’t carry out projects; how will Rivers people listen to such a governor? The one in Plateau State is worse. I can go to another state to say they should vote for the PDP and I will line up my projects and they will listen. But not governors who cannot protect their people; who can’t pay salaries; who can’t take care of their people; and whose people are slaughtered like chickens then they have the audacity to come to my state that produced what you have to tell them who to vote for – that is the highest insult to our people. Who are the so-called governors and the ministers that came? Nigeria will not know peace until the Federal Government comes to say ‘we are sorry for killing your people; that we tried to impose people on you and that led to the death of innocent souls.’ If they don’t do that, you will see that the crisis that would be in several states, the Federal Government won’t be able to curtail it. God has a way he protects his own people.
You are particularly angry with the governor of Benue State.
Not only him; but how could such a governor come to Rivers to insult us? Including those of Bauchi, Plateau, and Kano? Who are they? Where do they live that we would be able to identify them? You can’t come to a state and open your mouth and say they are thieves. Who are you? They think that they come from a region where whatever they do, they can’t be challenged. You come to a state governed by an elected person and you open your mouth and insult them because you think you come from somewhere? You can go free today but you can’t go free tomorrow. Power is temporary.
You have a new commissioner of police.
Yes, and he told me he is going to do a professional work and I told him, ‘You, a professional work?’ You can’t be independent and can’t do a professional work. The inspector general of police has given him instructions on what to do. The inspector general has told him he must cage the Rivers State governor. He shouldn’t come and tell me he wants to do any professional work. Who is he to say that?
He can’t have his own mind?
Which mind? Before he was posted here, he was told what to do. They don’t post people based on competence but loyalty; someone who will do their bidding. Do you know that we are the only state that has had about nine commissioners of police in just two years?
Did he agree with you?
Would he say yes? But I told him and he knew I was telling the truth. When he was going to be sent, there were about three of them that were called, and interviewed. They said they were going to kill me. They took this one who said he would be diplomatic about it. We know. This police commissioner has an agenda; I can’t be deceived. I’m not saying he should go; let him stay. He has been given an assignment to kill me. No problem. No man dies two times.
In specific terms, what have you achieved in the last two years?
One area is security. When we came into power, people were saying that Rivers State was not safe. Despite Federal Government’s lack of support, today, Rivers State is one of the most peaceful states in the country. In fact, the Federal Government made sure that the state was unsafe so that they could declare a state of emergency. The All Progressives Congress considered this in their meetings. But look at it; today, they are the ones with insecurity issues in their states.
Let’s talk about the crisis in your party.
It is a crisis sponsored by the APC, engineered by security agencies – DSS and the police. They have a hand in it. That’s why I don’t believe in the so-called political solution. To allow the APC conduct convention?
If the same man wins at the Supreme Court, what happens?
I have choices.
The PDP is not the only political party in Nigeria. Let me tell you that if there’s room for independent candidates, we would win. If there is none, there are other mushroom parties that we could use to win election in Rivers State. I don’t need any national party to win an election in Rivers State.
Is there no way Ali Modu Sheriff can lead the PDP?
It won’t work. We are not like any other state. We are very firm. I think they are inaugurating a state party executive, let them come and do that in this state.