Wike admits not in good relationship with ex Rivers State Gov

There is political difference between me and former Rivers State Governor Peter Odili, Federal Capital Territory (FCT)Minister Nyesom Wike admitted yesterday.

The minister, who spoke on the soured relations between him and the erstwhile godfather, also chided former Transport Minister Abiye Sekibo, former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman Uche Secondus and former House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Austin Opara, and Celestine Omehia for backing Governor Siminalayi Fubara.

The minister has been having a running battle with Fubara, his successor, over purely political matter.

It is believed that the successor/predecessor rift is responsible for the ruptured relations between him and Odili, who is backing the governor.

Last week, the PDP leaders urged President Bola Tinubu to caution Wike on the Rivers State crisis.

Acknowledging the gulf between him and Odili, the minister said:”There are some political differences.”

Wike spoke during a live media chart monitored by our correspondent in Abuja.

Wike added: “As it is today, politically, we don’t have a good relationship. We don’t work together.”

Odili was governor between 1999 and 2007. He handed over to former Governor Rotimi Amaechi under whom the minister served as Chief of Staff before he was appointed as Minister of State for Education by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Explaining the nature of political differences, Wike said:“For me, we have finished with this stage. It does not mean that in the next stage you will be in the same camp. No. He made a decision. I made a decision.”

He however, said he held Odili in high esteem as a father, despite the political differences.

Wike described other PDP leaders backing Fubara as “political buccaneers”

He described Sekibo, Secondus, Omehia and Opara as expired politicians who are not worthy to be called “elder statesmen”.

Wike insisted that they have lost relevance, adding that he had kicked them out of the party.

He pointed out that Secondus was no longer a member of the PDP because his suspension was validated by the court.

Wike said: “The other day, I saw a political conference organised by transactional politicians, political vampires, political buccaneers.”

Reminded that PDP chieftains are elder statesmen, Wike said: “Do you know who is called an elder statesman? An elder statesman is someone who must have integrity; who must not be here today and be there tomorrow.”

Wike said it was ironic that the people who had refused to support Fubara during last year’s poll have turned around to support for him after the election.

He said: “Today, they are not only serving a boy but they are waiting for him on the road. Do they have integrity? The same people who said this governor was a neophyte, how can they bring themselves to support him?

“They wrote a petition when this governor wanted to collect his certificate in PDP. They carried a rumour on how he became chairman and that he is being looked for by EFCC. They said he was not coming to PDP national secretariat, but they were surprised that the governor went to the PDP secretariat,”

Decrying what he described as the “antics” of PDP leaders, Wike said he pitied Fubara who wanted to be on his own for associating with with “these political vampires who are always sucking.”

He queried: They are calling Nigerians to support Tinubu, that me, I am a selfish person. All of them were in power, but what did they do for their people?”

Wike said the FCT’s N1.28 trillion 2024 statutory budget will revolutionize infrastructure development in the nation’s capital.

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He said the budget will not only cater for the roads in the FCT, but also healthcare, education and Abuja metro line.

He said: “Frankly speaking, it is going to revolutionize infrastructure as far as the FCT is concerned. Not only road networks, but also in health and education. I believe by the grace of God that the budget is going to be very impactful to the residents of Abuja”.

On how the FCT intends to finance the over N1 trillion budget, which is the largest since the inception of the FCT, the minister disclosed that the withdrawal of the FCT from the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has enabled the his administration to source for funds from the financial market.

Wike said: “The funds are there now and the contractors are happy because these funds have been tied to various specific projects. It is going to create a situation where people will wonder what is going on”.

“This strategy is what I used when I was Governor and it has paid off… Contractors like nothing better than to hear that funds are available. Before you know it, you have turned around the entire place. That is what is going on today in Abuja”.

The minister assured that contractors in the FCT will complete the projects in May to mark the President’s one year in office.

He said the FCT Administration will bring development to area councils.

He said in addition to the ongoing construction of rural roads in the six area councils, provision has also been made in the 2024 budget to implement other important roads that were identified by the area council stakeholders.

On security, Wike said the FCT would set up a special response squad comprising a joint team from the various security agencies.

He said the team will be well-equipped and provided with the necessary technology to tackle crime and criminality in the FCT.

He said:“We are also getting drones for the security personnel who will man the Command-and-Control Centre. Having a drone is key, so that you will be able to know when these bandits are moving in or when they are moving out so you will be able to take proactive action”.

On the installation of CCTV in the FCT, the minister said it would require the collaboration of stakeholders in the security sector, including the Office of the National Security Adviser and Department of State Services (DSS).

He said steps would be taken to ensure that the CCTVs are not vandalized after installation.

Wike, who spoke on land matters in the FCT, said efforts were ongoing to sanitize land administration.

He dismissed allegations that he was vindictive in actions taken on certain land matters in the Asokoro District, warning mischief makers against giving ethnic colorations to actions taken by the FCTA.

He said the FCT Civil Service Commission would take disciplinary actions against any staff found guilty of perpetrating land fraud.

Wike said: “As far as I’m concerned in this FCT, it is no longer going to be business as usual.”

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