Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has drawn a battle line with the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio over the latter’s recent comments about South-South governors.
Wike said he would deal with Akpabio if he dared speak negatively about Rivers state, saying the minister has no authority to talk about the state.
Akpabio, who was the governor of Akwa-Ibom from 2007 to 2015, had recently criticised South-South governors over their demands for a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission.
The minister also questioned what the governors do with their 13 percent oil derivation while accusing them of running their local governments with caretaker committees.
Wike, however, fired back on Friday, March 12, 2021, during the inauguration of an office complex his administration built for the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Port Harcourt.
He accused Akpabio of being behind a recent publication by militant groups asking South-South governors to account for N55trn derivation money.
He also said when the minister was a governor, he carried himself like a god but failed to win his senatorial election in Akwa-Ibom.
Wike asked Akpabio to concentrate on Akwa-Ibom if he feels like talking about governance in the South-south region.
He said, “It is unfortunate. I read what the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Akpabio said. I will tell him to talk less. 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 are 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. If he 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.
“So, if he wants to talk, let him concentrate on his state, not to venture again and talk about Rivers. If he does it again, he will regret. I am not one of those governors he can turn around. I am not that kind of person. People should say what they practice. I will show you a video where the President said they should come and learn from me what we are doing here. People forget they just come out and talk any how.
“You promised you were going to partner with me when we were doing the Eastern bypass, but you ran away and now you are enjoying it. 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. He saw himself as god then. 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?
Wike maintained that everything he said about Akpabio at the inauguration on Friday was an introduction, saying he’ll still insult him at the appropriate time.
Source: Pulse Nigeria