TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) defeated the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamil Sarhem, and his political party during the 2019 elections.
Governor Wike spoke during the valedictory session of the State Executive Council, at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
The 6 Division, through the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, had recently described as “bizarre and spurious,” an allegation against the GOC and Land Component Commander, Operation Delta Safe, Major General Sarham, by Wike, that the former was involved in illegal oil bunkering.
Iliyasu said Wike’s resentment against the GOC was based on the latter’s “choice of professionalism and integrity over the billions of naira offered to him by the governor to compromise the 2019 elections.
“His refusal to be bought over and the rejection of such hefty offer is the genesis of Wike’s hatred and vociferous criticisms against Major General Sarham,” Iliyasu had claimed.
However, Wike declared that the bribery allegation against him by the GOC was false and a mere face-saving measure.
The governor recalled that the GOC recently appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Army, but never made any such allegation because nothing like that took place.
He reiterated that the GOC runs an oil bunkering scheme which could not be swept away.
He said: “I thank you for the political support you gave me when there was no hope. At a time when the GOC came to kill Rivers people, but, you stood firm to say, you will not agree. Yes, he may have killed our people, but we will continue to protect our votes.
“They say they will remove me through the tribunal, but we defeated them during the elections. If it is to conduct elections, they will never win.
“Someone who says he never met me before and had never been to Government House, would say I am fighting him because I tried to bribe him with billions of naira.
“The House of Representatives Committee on Army was here; he could not say he was bribed.
“In the elections, we defeated you and your party; why would I have to pay bribe? We defeated you in that election. The man you have not met, how could he have offered to bribe you?” Wike asked rhetorically.
Governor Wike said he would continue to promote Rivers first at all times, adding that the interest of the state is ahead of other considerations.