The All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, his running mate, Kashim Shettima, the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu on Wednesday paid a courtesy visit to the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
Wike, during the meeting urged Tinubu to prevail on the Federal Government to ensure that the 2023 general election is not truncated.
Wike noted that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s flagrant disregard for the Supreme Court order on the naira swap policy should worry the APC-led Federal Government, particularly as the 2023 general elections draw nearer.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor, Kelbin Ebiri, and made available to newsmen on Wednesday night.
On Tinubu’s entourage were, the governors of Kebbi, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu; Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), David Umahi (Ebony), former Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, Tony Okocha and others.
Governor Wike, who thanked God that the APC presidential rally in the state was devoid of violence, however, expressed reservation whether the APC-led Federal Government was interested in conducting the 2023 general elections particularly with the lingering naira swap crisis.
Wike stated, “Do you people really want this election to take place or not; or you have an agenda to truncate this election. I don’t know. Look at what is happening in Oyo today, Edo, Delta. See what is going on.”
The Rivers State governor maintained that the abrupt naira redesign and its implementation by the Central Bank of Nigeria smacks of pure politics. He insisted that irrespective of the politics, the ruling APC must ensure that the general elections hold.
He added, “I believe your party should make sure this election holds. You people are in power, ensure that this election holds. Nobody can solve the issue of corruption in two-three months. It is not possible. This thing is purely politically motivated.”
Governor Wike took a swipe on the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, for disregarding the Supreme Court judgement on the old naira deadline
“How can you people be in government at this time, governor of a Central Bank disrespecting the Supreme Court. Where has it happened in any democracy. Governor of Central Bank thinking of whether to obey Supreme Court order. Where has it happened?
“I am not talking about Federal High Court order, not Court Of Appeal, I am talking about Supreme Court. Supreme Court said do not do this and everybody is folding hand begging Central Bank to obey Supreme Court order.
“Which country has it ever happened? When the order of Supreme Court is not obeyed, what are you telling the poor people on the streets.”
Governor Wike, who described himself as unrepentant member of the Peoples Democratic Party, said it was abominable for two PDP states, Bayelsa and Edo, to join the Federal Government as defendants in the suit brought before the Supreme Court by some states challenging the naira sway policy.
“For the first time I have seen a government procuring opposition to join them to defend their policy. A policy that is anti-people. You are now the ones procuring we (PDP) to defend something that is totally wrong. I have seen nothing like this in my life. It is a big shame.”
The governor commended the APC presidential candidate for his steadfastness and loyalty to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), despite the challenges he had faced in the ruling party.
Governor Wike recalled that between 2017 and 2018, after a meeting in Paris with former senate president, Bukola Saraki, Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal and others, he was sent to persuade the APC presidential candidate to join the PDP.
“I came to your house in Bourdillon. I came and said to you sir, look at the way the country is moving. There is no way we can allow the current president to continue in 2019.
“You now asked me, okay, what are the alternatives? I said sir, we have Atiku, we have Tambuwal, we have Bukola. You laughed. You said look I will remain with Buhari. If these are your alternatives, I will remain with Buhari, that I don’t know them,” Wike stated.
Wike described the APC presidential candidate as a man of character and courage. These attributes, he stressed is what the country desperately requires now in her democratization drive.
“I wish you good luck. I support the principle of fairness, equity and justice and that is what G-5 stands. G-5 does not stand for anybody.”
He advised the APC presidential candidate and the national leadership of the party not to invest resources in any of the party’s candidate in the state, because none of them will win any seat in the general election.
Earlier, the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu informed Wike that the courtesy call was necessitated by his sheer regards and admiration for his advocacy that power should rotate to the south.
The APC presidential candidate said he joined the race to lead the country on the philosophy which governor Wike had consistently advocated that power should return to the south.
He stated, “Our courtesy call, not to personalize it, is out of the respect I have for you. You worked hard and you voiced loudly your commitment to unity and the critical part to that unity in Nigeria, you never advocated a division of our country. You followed history. You respect the country.”