‘How Will Nigerians Feel?’ Wike Rules Out Defecting To APC


 

Nyesom Wike has squashed insinuations that he will join the Progressives Congress (APC), taking a swipe at governors who defected to the ruling party. 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has in recent months witnessed a wave of defections, raising concerns about the party’s viability. Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State moved to the APC this week, less than two months after his Cross River counterpart Ben Ayade dumped the PDP. Three PDP senators also confirmed their defection to the APC on Wednesday.

But Wike, the governor of oil-rich Rivers State and a strong critic of the APC, maintains that it is unthinkable for him to leave the main opposition party.

“It is not something to be discussed. How would any Nigerian feel that tomorrow I am discussing with the APC?” the governor asked when he featured on Channels Television’s current affairs programme Politics Today on Thursday.

READ ALSOGovernor Matawalle Formally Defects To APC, Becomes Party Leader In Zamfara

Fearful Defectors?

 

A file photo of the PDP logo.

 

He scolded governors and other members of the PDP who have joined the country’s leading party for being fearful and intimidated by the APC, insisting the APC has nothing on offer for him to move to their camp. The defectors, he claimed, had no reason to join another party.

“This people, because of one thing or the other, are trying to hide their inadequacies and inefficiencies and ensure that the government [at the centre] protects them. And they are always afraid,” Wike, a former minister of education explained, accusing the federal government of “fighting” Rivers State.

Governor Wike claimed those welcoming the decamped politicians to the APC have failed in delivering quality governance to their people, saying his main preoccupation at the moment is giving the right leadership to the south-south state.

“The problem with Nigeria today is insecurity. The problem with Nigeria today is poverty. The problem with Nigeria today is corruption, not to go and receive a governor somewhere,” he said. “They have nothing to show. I have no such time. You can watch it every day; we are busy.”

READ ALSO: Senate President Confirms Defection Of Three PDP Senators To APC

PDP Still Confident

PDP
The National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus insists the party is well-positioned to win the presidential seat in 2023.

 

Despite the defections, the National Chairman of the PDP Uche Secondus insists the party is not bothered about the development, assuring that it will reclaim the presidential seat it lost in 2015.

“We stand here to state clearly that we will form the next government, come 2023, because of the masses, not the governors who are leaving the PDP,” Secondus said during a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday.

 

Wike Accuses FG Of Paying Lip Service To Judicial Autonomy

File photo: Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike speaks at the Government House in Port Harcourt on April 2, 2021.

 

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has accused the Federal Government of being unserious about granting autonomy to the judiciary in total disregard to the country’s constitution. 

Wike made the remark on Thursday during the inauguration and handover of the National Industrial Court Judges Quarters in Old Government Residential Area, Port Harcourt.

The Rivers Governor explained that in a federal system of government, only the executive arm of government, at all the tiers, has the powers to present the annual budget to either State or National Assembly and also signed it into law.

“Is it true that the federal government wants the autonomy of the judiciary? If the federal government wants the autonomy of the judiciary, how can a government say that the courts should be shut down for almost two months now?” the governor was quoted as asking in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri. “Which country can survive when its courts are shut down for two months?”

Governor Wike noted that his government has totally implemented judicial autonomy as well as that of the legislature with releases of their financial entitlements as contained in the budget up till 2021.

He explained that the money released by  Rivers State to the judiciary exceeds the planned deductions by the federal government and added that his government is not owing parliamentary workers who are also presently on sympathy strike.

READ ALSO: Police Council Confirms Alkali As IGP, Almost Two Months After Appointment

Wike during the inauguration and handover of the National Industrial Court Judges Quarters. Photo: Facebook/Rivers Government House.

 

The former Minister of Education said he was motivated to build the residences for the judges, recalling when, as a Chief Judge, he got a call at about midnight that a judge was locked out of his rented apartment by a landlord.

“From that day, I had this feeling that judges should not be so exposed to this kind of thing that could lead to loss of their life. We have also acquired land to build for judges of the federal high court who are in rented apartments. And I know that the landlord has told me that they have not paid him for several years,” he added.

“That comes to tell you the kind of autonomy of the judiciary that the federal government says they believe in. We agree but the rent of their judges is there, they have not brought the money to pay.”

No Reasonable Nigerian Would Want APC Back In 2023 – Wike

File photo of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
File photo of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

 

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on Wednesday attacked the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the delay in amending the Electoral Act, saying no reasonable citizen of the country would want the party to retain the presidential seat in 2023.

The former education minister claimed that Nigerians have lost confidence in the APC and further accused it of frustrating moves to amend the Act.

READ ALSO: Yakubu Asks NASS To Pass Amended Electoral Act Before 2021 First Quarter Ends

“Amending the Electoral Act would be a giant leap forward for the country as it would lead to free, fair, and credible elections,” Wike tweeted on his official handle, doubling down on his claim that the ruling APC is afraid of losing the presidential seat.

“Unfortunately, we are again seeing tricks and delays because this government doesn’t want it amended so they can manipulate the 2023 elections. They know people have lost confidence in the APC Government and no reasonable Nigerian would want them back.”

Wike had earlier in the year accused President Muhammadu Buhari of not signing the amended Electoral Act because he was advised against it by the APC which felt he (Buhari) could have lost the 2019 election if it was signed.

READ ALSO: NASS Will Pass Electoral Act Amendment Bill By Q1 2021 – Lawan

“And of course, the President did not sign the electoral amendment Act,” the governor explained.

“I am not carried away by the antics of the National Assembly. They all know what will make the country move forward. One, make the election to be transparent by ensuring that all votes are counted.

“You can achieve that by allowing the card reader to function. So that the figures recorded on the card reader should tally with the transmitted figures.”