Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has claimed that the embattled National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress ( APC), Adams Oshiomhole, and his associates had wanted to steal the mandate of the people of Rivers, but that they were strongly resisted.
In the aftermath of a last-minute Supreme Court verdict that affirmed Douye Diri as the governor of Bayelsa State, the outspoken Rivers governor said that the people of Rivers would not allow Oshiomhole and his associates rob the citizens of the state of their electoral mandate.
The Rivers governor called for the resignation of the APC chairman in view of his failure to stop the inauguration of Bayelsa State Governor as he had boasted.
Wike spoke in an interview at the Government House Port Harcourt yesterday.
He said: “This is a country where you see people who do not have character. Today, they sing a song, tomorrow they sing another song. I think Oshiomhole as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is not a character that anybody should associate with.
“First of all, I have never been violent and I will never be violent. However, when you see an armed robber come to your house, will you plead with the armed robber and say ‘please, I beg you, leave my house.
“People think that armed robbers are only those who cart away people’s money. The worst form of armed robbery is when you steal people’s mandate, just like what Oshiomhole is noted for.
“He thinks because he is in the ruling party, he can use security to steal the mandate of the people. He was taught a lesson, a bitter lesson and I want to repeat, if you come to steal our mandate, the people will respond accordingly.
“They will oppose your stealing of their mandate. And so Oshiomhole thinks that because he is in the ruling party nobody should say anything or do anything. Stealing is not only when you go to rob a bank. The worst form of armed robbery is when you steal the mandate of the people,” the governor said.
He noted that he stopped attending the National Economic Council meetings because, according to him, Oshiomhole, while governor of Edo State, had turned it into a forum to bash former President Goodluck Jonathan when he had gone to praise Jonathan at Aso Villa for ensuring credible elections.
“When Jonathan made sure the election was free and fair, Oshiomhole came to the villa and thanked Jonathan. When Jonathan left office, one of the reasons I don’t go to NEC meeting is because of Oshiomhole. When he was a member. When Jonathan left, there was no day at the NEC meeting Oshiomhole will not bring Jonathan down. Meanwhile, that was the same man Oshiomhole went to praise for allowing one man one vote. But, when the man left, Oshiomhole changed. That is his character,” Wike said.
Governor Wike alleges that Oshiomhole became governor through questionable means, adding that the emergence of Oshiomhole led to a constitutional amendment for Governorship Matters to terminate at the Supreme Court.
The governor maintained that Oshiomhole lacked the powers to challenge the pronouncement of the Supreme Court.
“I will not be a member of their party, I have always been a member of PDP and they know that. Oshiomhole knows that his party does not even score up to 25 per cent in my state. He cannot tell me that,” Wike stated.
“So he should face his problems but shame should be on him that at the end of the day that the PDP candidate has been sworn-in as the governor of Bayelsa State. You can’t come out and open your mouth and say it will never happen. Now it has happened. If I were him I will resign, I will leave. I am not his friend, so he cannot say my friend,” the governor stated.
Speaking further on Oshiomole, Wike stated that “he claimed he was a unionist. He said he worked in the textile industry. Mention one man who works in the textile industry and is as rich as Oshiomhole today? He used to wear ordinary khaki. Today, he wears Safari with diamond buttons. Simply because I said Oshiomhole cannot destabilise this country, who the hell is Oshiomhole to say that nobody can be sworn-in when the Supreme Court court has made a pronouncement whether good or bad?
“Oshiomhole has the audacity to say nobody will be sworn-in In Bayelsa State causing a crisis in the country and nobody wants to call him to order but for people like us in Rivers State. Because of people like Oshiomhole and his style of leadership, his party lost so many areas they ought not to have lost.
“What made them not to have candidates in Rivers State and Zamfara, it is because of Oshiomhole. Oshiomhole led to the problem they have in Bayelsa. Oshiomhole takes from two sides. He is not a man of integrity and nobody should take him seriously.”
Wike concluded: “It is not my position to say it is right or wrong, but Oshiomhole cannot open his wide mouth to say it can never happen; and now it has happened, what will he do? Don’t destabilize the country. Don’t cause a crisis for this country.
“You may be closer to the President and that is not the way to retain your position as chairman of the party because Oshiomhole doesn’t have the support of most of the governors because of his style of leadership, and it is very clear. So Oshiomhole doesn’t have the right to tell me that I am a man of violence.”