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No Regrets Making Fubara Governor – Wike

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The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, has disclosed that he has no regrets making Siminalayi Fubara the governor of Rivers State.

Wike, who said he and some leaders of the state picked and worked for Fubara’s emergence as the governor noted that the decision was taken to ensure the unity of the state.

The minister stated this while speaking at a New Year luncheon he organised in his country home, Rumueprikom, in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the Rivers State on Sunday.

Wike explained that he had to ask those who showed interest, including an ally like the former Rivers PDP Chairman, Felix Obuah, to drop their ambition in order to pave the way for a governor from the riverine area.

He disclosed that he invited Obuah, who was a major contender for the governorship election then to his house and asked him to drop his ambition and become the Director-General for the campaign.

He revealed how his predecessor as Governor in the state seized Obuah’s property, yet Obuah stood with him.

Felix Obuah was in my team as chairman of the party. My predecessor seized Obua’s property, everything he owned, land, schools and hotels. The wife cried to him but he told his wife, ‘don’t worry if it is the will of God there is nothing you can do. He stood firm. They took everything he had.

“He was one of the frontrunners in the 2023 governorship election. I told him in my house to step down so that he wouldn’t run. He looked at me but I said you won’t run. He said if that was what I am saying he won’t run. But I say you will be DG, go and campaign for that election.

“I say you must be DG and he said if that is what you want I will go and do it. And he did it. I see all kinds of things going on. They are talking evil about him. But he is here and he will still be here,” Wike stated.

READ ALSO: Rivers Elders Write Tinubu, Fubara, Say Presidential Intervention Death Sentence

Continuing, he said, “Those, who open their mouths to talk don’t know anything. I was the one who paid for the forms for anybody who wanted to run for elections as governor, House of Assembly and National Assembly. Let one person raise his hand and say he bought forms.

“We say we are all family members with no need for acrimony. Don’t spend your money, we will agree on who will run. The day we made the final decision, the Chairman of the elders’ council nearly collapsed.

“He is here. OCJ Okocha was there, Awuse was there. Omehia was there. He nearly collapsed. Why? He wanted a governor from the riverine area.

“When I looked at him, I said, ‘Why will I allow this old man to just die.’ I say let’s not create the impression that there are people who want to monopolise power.

“Let’s allow everybody to be part of it because we belong to one Rivers State. If I had wanted, nobody would have stopped me. Nobody had what it takes to even be near me.

“And to God be the glory, I don’t regret what I did and I will never regret what I did because I want the unity of this state for us to forge ahead. If I wanted an Ikwerre man, nobody would have stopped me”.

He added that his concern is to play politics of unity of Rivers, saying when he visited the National Vice Chairman of the APC, South-South, Chief Victor Giadom, he went there with PDP leaders.

He said, “Today he (Giadom) is here with all APC leaders. Membership of the party is not on Radio or Television. So, all of us must make Rivers State to move forward.

READ ALSO: Wike Chides Rivers Elders For Faulting Tinubu’s Intervention, Backing Fubara

“Let’s move forward for the interest of the state. That is important. I took the decision and you listened to me. I want you to also listen to me now. Let’s accept what Mr. President has said. It is for the interest of Rivers and for Nigeria in general.

“It may not be the best but there is no option. Mr. President took a lot of risk to give me the position of Minister of FCT. People protested but he stood firm. If he could do that, you too should accept his decision.

“When we came back from Abuja, within the next 48 hours, the speaker and his people took the decision to obey Mr. President without attaching any condition. I thank Mr. Speaker and other members for respecting Mr. President.

“Whether you are APC or PDP or you don’t belong to any of the parties, we owe a duty to give Mr. President support to move this country forward. Some people said I betrayed PDP, but I never betrayed PDP. We stood firm and told Nigerians we wouldn’t do this if this was not done. So the issue of betrayal doesn’t arise”.

Wike said he learnt from President Tinubu, who once taught him that betrayal and politics are mother and father, just as he recalled how the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, allegedly betrayed all the agreements they had to pave the way for his second term.

He added, “It is not everything you invest that you will reap. Even established companies crumble. You cannot say I did this but I am not benefitting. God knows why it happens the way it happens.

“What is important in life is to give God the glory that you are alive to see what is happening. When a man is dead, he doesn’t know what is happening.

“You will be able to advise your children and your friends. When the heat was on in Edo, this young man was a frontrunner in the Edo Governorship election.

“PDP leaders came to me in Port Harcourt from 6 pm to 6 am the next day. I told the young man with Dan Orbih to withdraw and not to run for the governorship. He was crying and we agreed on what would be given to their group.”

Wike stated further, “He was to be refunded the money he spent and to get four commissioners but not one was kept. We said okay you would run for Senate in the next election. But not one was kept.

READ ALSO: Tinubu Threatened, Imposed Resolution On Fubara, Says Ex-Rivers Commissioner

“But the next thing was blackmail that Wike wants to control this. But you didn’t know what Wike wanted to control when you came and held a meeting with me from 6 pm to 6 am. It was all about blackmail. That is what you see in politics.

“You must have shock absorbers. President Tinubu told me when we were meeting that politics and betrayal are the same mother and father. If you don’t want to be betrayed, don’t enter politics.

“So prepare yourself that it will happen. I am fully prepared because I know it is one of the things President Tinubu taught me. I am laying this foundation so that some of you who are worried should not be. That is life for you. You must prepare yourself to know that these things happen. I have preached and continue to preach for unity and for peace in this state”.

The minister declared that he is committed to implementing the peace agreement brokered by Tinubu in the political crisis in the state.

Wike, also called on parties to endeavour to implement the same without conditions.

While commending the State House of Assembly for implementing its side of the resolutions, the former governor vowed that he would never disobey President Tinubu.

Wike stated, “I want to make one confession to you. I work with Mr. President and there is no way I can disobey Mr. President. It is not possible. The mere fact that Mr. President calls you and said look allow peace here, there is no way I can disobey Mr. President.

“I may not be happy with all resolutions but if Mr. President calls for peace, who are you to say you don’t want peace? I will not attach any condition to what Mr. The President wants from me. I will not do it.

“So, I must obey Mr. President. I must do everything humanly possible to see that the peace arrangement is achieved in Rivers. That is what is required and I am going to do that.”

Speaking on the Rivers crisis he said, “Ask people why this matter came to this level. When people went and plotted the removal of the Speaker you think we would fold our hands to remove the Speaker?

“We will start with you first. Do you want to humiliate us by removing the Speaker? They said I should go and talk to the assemblymen and I said why? They said you brought them. But I said so these ones will listen to me but you you won’t listen.

“They said chairmen of councils don’t respect anybody. But I said why won’t they respect anybody? People are plotting evil and nobody wants to talk.

“We must make an impact on people’s lives. Whatever position that you find yourself in, make an impact. Forget about these people who cannot face me to fight me. I consumed them before and I will continue to consume them. Show them the way. Follow a man that knows the way.”

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Edo Guber: Oshiomhole Breaks Silence On Zoning

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Former governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on Wednesday said that President Bola Tinubu has affirmed that he is committed only to free and fair primaries not based on zoning.

Oshiomhole also kicked against the contentious zoning of the governorship slot in Edo State and queried the All Progressives Congress, APC, on its insistence in zoning in the state but looked the other way in Kogi where the kinsman of former Governor Yahaya Bello took over from him.

He maintained that it will be unfair for the APC to implement zoning in the party’s rescheduled primary for the forthcoming gubernatorial election when it did not do so in Kogi and Benue states.

READ ALSO: Primary: Four Edo APC Governorship Aspirants Reject Uzodimma

Oshiomhole, who is representing Edo North Senatorial District, stated this while speaking with State House correspondents after he met behind closed-doors with President Tinubu at the presidential Villa Abuja.

He said the Edo state chapter of the ruling party is not interested in “turn-by-turn democracy.”

His visit to the president came on the heels of the controversy surrounding the emergence of about three aspirants claiming to be winners in the last Saturday’s primaries

Hon. Denise Idahosa, who is said to be the candidate of Senator Oshiomhole was declared by the chairman of the primaries and governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma, while two other candidates including Senator Monday Okpebholo and Sunday Dekeri also claimed victory as they accused the former governor of trying to impose Idahosa.

READ ALSO: Edo Primary: APC Bows To Pressure, Replaces Uzodimma As Chairman [FULL LIST]

Edo APC stakeholders opposed to Idahosa have cited the fact that he is from the same Edo South Senatorial District as the incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki who is completing his two-term eight years tenure, advocating that power should move to a different zone.

But Oshiomhole insisted that after discussing the zoning question with President Tinubu, the president expressed his commitment only to free and fair primary.

He said Tinubu told him that the rescheduled primary should not be based on zoning but the will of the majority of APC.

Oshiomhole contended that after allowing Kogi State Governor Usman Ododo to succeed Yahaya Bello even though they are from the same senatorial district, and also not stop the Tiv’s from dominating Benue State governorship elections, the APC cannot single out Edo State for zoning.

 

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Edo Primary: APC Bows To Pressure, Replaces Uzodimma As Chairman [FULL LIST]

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Following the controversy that trailed Saturday’s governorship primary in Edo State, the ruling All Progressives Congress has removed Governor Hope Uzodimma as Chairman of the Elections Committee.

The Imo State governor was replaced with his counterpart from Cross River State, Bassey Otu, who was formerly the deputy chairman of the seven-member committee.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Wednesday by the APC National Organising Secretary, Sulaiman Argungu.

Argungu disclosed that Otu has now been saddled with the responsibility of conducting the re-run poll slated for Thursday, February 22.

READ ALSO: Primary: Four Edo APC Governorship Aspirants Reject Uzodimma

Other members of the Primary Election Committee include former Osun State deputy governor, Mrs Titilayo Laoye-Tomori; APC’s flagbearer in the Plateau State 2023 governorship election, Nentanwe Goshwe; Umar Musa; Lawan Garba and Rabiu Suleiman who will serve as the Secretary.

The changes were made a few hours after four leading aspirants called for Uzodimma’s replacement.

Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Chief Lucky Imasuen, Senator Monday Okpebholo and General Charles Airhiavbere (retd.) said they no longer trust his ability to conduct a free and fair election following the controversy that trailed Saturday’s poll.

 

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Primary: Four Edo APC Governorship Aspirants Reject Uzodimma

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Four leading Edo All Progressives Congress governorship aspirants have rejected the Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma, as Chairman of the Elections Committee.

Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Chief Lucky Imasuen, Senator Monday Okpebholo and General Charles Airhiavbere (retd.) said they do not trust his ability to conduct a free and fair election following the controversy that trailed Saturday’s poll.

The development came barely 24 hours to the re-run of the governorship primary in the state.

The APC had announced on Tuesday after an emergency meeting at the secretariat in Abuja that the shadow election was inconclusive and a fresh poll would be conducted on February 22.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Tinubu In Talks with Gowon At Aso Rock Villa

The previous poll, which was conducted on February 17, had produced three winners.

Uzodimma had announced Dennis Idahosa as a winner, while returning officer, Stanley Ugboaja, declared Monday Okpebholo as a winner.

Elsewhere, Ojo Babatunde, who claimed to be representing the returning officers in all the local governments, declared Anamero Dekeri as the winner of the election.

Reacting to the re-run election in a joint statement, the four aspirants insisted that they no longer have confidence in the capacity of Uzodimma’s committee to conduct the election.

In addition, Ize-Iyamu, Imasuen, Okpebholo and Airhiavbere argued that Uzodimma did not observe the minimum requirements for compliance with the relevant provisions of the laws and regulations guiding the election as provided both in the Electoral Act and in the APC Constitution.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Tinubu Appoints New Immigration CG

The statement read, “We strongly believe that whatever was responsible for his flagrant disregard for due process and unusual hasty declaration of unconfirmed fictitious results of the primaries outside the designated collation centre may not have abated from his mind, and therefore may be repeated if given the opportunity to play the same role as chairman in the process.

“In the circumstance, we are calling on Mr. President to kindly use his good offices to replace Senator Hope Uzodimma with any other respected member of our great party, as chairman whom the President strongly believes will comply with the law, maintain internal democracy, protect and defend the integrity and goodwill of the President which he has attained over the years that endeared him to both national and international stakeholders.

“Furthermore, we believe that this is the only way to remedy the ridicule and embarrassment that Uzodimma’s tactless and overzealous behaviour, which in the view of keen observers of happenings in the ongoing process of nominating a viable candidate of our party, runs within the borderline of mischief and clotted with antidemocratic vestments, unknown to law.

“We have implicit confidence in Mr. President’s devotion to justice, equity, and fairness in the process that will produce the governorship candidate of our party in Edo State which is now rescheduled for tomorrow 22nd February 2024, and also ensure victory for our party in the governorship election that is scheduled for September 2024.”

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