• Asks FG to approve same to tackle N’Delta challenges
From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has described as illegal the approval of $1 billion from Excess Crude Account as counter insurgency fund by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and has proposed that same amount be withdrawn to tackle environmental challenges in the Niger Delta.
Wike, who met with President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Friday to update him on security development in Rivers, while reacting to the approval given by the NGF for the withdrawal of $1billion from the Excess Crude Account for the fight against insurgency, stated that while he supports the fight the approval by the Governor’s Forum is illegal.
His words: “For me, it is illegal. However, we are talking about fighting insurgency and no right thinking individual will say that he will not support the government to fight insurgency. But on the other hand, I believe that we have been talking about the environmental issues in the Niger Delta particularly in Ogoni land, I believe that we can also take the same money from the excess crude account to fund the problem in Ogoni land and other Niger Delta areas. That is my position.”
The governor, who described his relationship with the president as cordial, said their discussion also bordered on other developmental issues in the state.
He said, “I’m happy with the discussion and I believe that something has to be done about it (security). Nothing political, just security issue that affects the state and things that may lead to the breakdown of law and order.
We talked on security challenges and he received me very well. We don’t have any bad relationship, I come here when he asked me to come.”
On the allegation that he manipulated Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) congress to install his candidate as chairman of the party, Wike said it was impossible for an individual to install a party chairman in the country.
“It is impossible for one person to own a party. The only thing is that people are vibrating and the ruling party is jittery about it,” he said.
According to him, the PDP, will continue to win elections in the state. He said: “Take for example, my state, we are sure that PDP will win elections any day, anytime. There is no amount of blackmail; there is no amount of intimidation that will stop us from winning the state. So I believe that other people working hard in their states should be able to deliver them to PDP in future elections.”