The National Coordinator, of South-South Leadership Forum, Chief Anaba Sara-Igbe, said that the cause of the political crisis in Rivers State is as an aftermath Nyesom Wike’s quest to control the ruling and opposition parties in the state.
The rift between the Rivers State Governor, Siminialayi Fubara and the Federal Capital Territory Minisiter, Nyesom Wike, has led to mass defection of lawmakers in the state.
In an interview on Channels TV on Saturday, Sara-Igbe hinted that the mismanagement of Rivers State’s internally generated revenue also led to the feud between the governor and his predecessor.
He said Governor Fubara offered to resign his position before the crisis in the state escalated to the level it currently is.
According to Sara-Igbe, “What is the problem? Wike has come to tell the world that he was fighting Sim because Sim wanted to take his structure. What is the structure six months after elections; we are not close to elections, so what has structure got to do?
“Let me tell you about the structure; before Wike left the government, the state was making over N10bn internally generated revenue (monthly). When he left, the IGR came down to N6bn. And the governor, a former Accountant General of the state, asked questions and in the process he engaged somebody to look at the books, and the commissioner of finance reported to Wike and the former governor got angry. That is the structure.
“Secondly, the money coming from the federation account, Wike tied the money to one project or the other. So, when the money comes, it goes to the banks and they collect theirs from it and pay the contractors. Of course, we didn’t even know the cost of the contracts, so when this governor felt, ‘How will I run a government when I don’t have the resources’, the minister became hostile to the governor and the governor said ‘Okay, let me resign if that is the case’. The PDP elders prevailed on him not to resign, thinking it would be messy.
“As soon as that ended, I came on air and advised Nyesom Wike to leave this man alone to govern, allow him, even if he’s your son’. I even went as far as giving him references like the Sarakis. Dr Olusola Saraki brought the son, Bukola, to that seat but when their ideologies did not agree, the son told him to go and rest.”
“Sara-Igbe said it was difficult to make a governor subservient in Nigeria, because of the huge influence and power available to the occupiers of the office.”
He added, “You cannot make somebody a governor; a very important seat in Nigeria – that was the seat Odili sat and he almost became the president; that was the seat (former governor Rotimi) Amaechi sat and he connived with others to remove a sitting president; that is the seat Wike himself sat and became a superman – and you are asking somebody who is on that seat to be subservient. But the governor is still loyal.”
Also worthy of note is that the political crisis in Rivers state has deepened leading to two factional speakers of the state Assembly, the defection of 27 PDP lawmakers to the APC, the demolition of the state assembly complex and a gale of resignations from the governor’s cabinet in the past weeks.
Here is the video: