•Describes Obaseki’s disqualification as height of impunity
•Oshiomhole, others meet with Gambari over Edo crisis
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike yesterday lambasted the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), describing it as a toothless bulldog that had “lost focus on its role in defending the rule of law in the country.”
He recalled that the body used to be “non-partisan and a powerful voice on national issues.”
The governor contended that since the All Progressives Congress (APC) took over the leadership of the forum in 2015, the governors had “turned beggars.”
Wike spoke while addressing a media parley at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
His words: “Before 2015, the governors’ forum used to be very powerful as symbols of their respective states, but APC killed it because they were protecting the interest of the ruling party.
“During one of the rerun elections in this state, my security aides were withdrawn, thus exposing me to danger. The forum did not say anything because the chairman was a member of APC.
“I told them then that what they were doing was wrong. Now they have become a beggars’ forum even when there are constitutional infractions.
“You can see that APC governors say that they are progressives. You can see how progressive they are when they kept quiet when a fellow sitting governor was disqualified from contesting (an) election.”
Meanwhile, the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the Vice Chairman (North West), Inuwa Abdulkadir, National Treasurer, Adamu Panda, and two other members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) yesterday met with the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, over the Edo crisis.
The former labour leader was escorted to closed-door meeting at the State House, Abuja by a police orderly, who was seen clutching a pile of files.
The APC hierarchy is dealing with the fall-out from the ruling party’s disqualification of Godwin Obaseki from the gubernatorial primary holding on June 22, 2020.
Wike continued: “Adams Oshiomhole campaigned for Governor Obaseki four years ago. The same man has turned around to say that Obaseki has a defective certificate.
“Has Oshiomhole apologised to Nigerians that he supported someone with a defective certificate? Who is saying that a sitting governor has a defective certificate? Is it a man that does not have a certificate?
“Oshiomhole should be told to practise what he preaches.
“APC wants to perpetrate impunity in Edo State the way they unleashed terror on Rivers State in 2019.”
On Obaseki’s planned defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Governor Wike said he would be happy to receive him.
The Rivers helmsman nevertheless observed that he would not guarantee automatic ticket for him because Edo people would decide.
“Edo PDP has a role to play. There is nothing like endorsement. But I must tell you that I am not happy the way he was disqualified by the APC because it will affect his integrity, “ he added.
Besides, Wike faulted the remarks of the state chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Obelebra Adebiyi, on his administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, reiterating that the Rivers Ministry of Health, had from the go, been fully retooled to fight the disease.
The governor stated that the rising cases followed the expanded testing of persons, adding that Adebiyi, who is in charge of the state treatment centre, “cannot politicise the fight by creating unnecessary panic to score cheap political points.”
He was reacting to the claim that 82 health workers had been infected with the ailment despite “providing consistently personal protective equipment for doctors and other professionals combating the disease in the state.”