Governors Forum Under APC Has Become Beggars Forum — Governor Nyesom Wike
GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike on Monday exclaimed that the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) under All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership has become a “beggars forum, a toothless bulldog that can only bark and can’t bite”
Wike was mocking Ekiti state’s Governor Kayode Fayemi headed NGF over Adams Oshiomhole led APC’s disqualification of Governor Godwin Obaseki from contesting upcoming primary for the party’s ticket for September governorship election in Edo state.
Wike also faulted Rivers Chapter of Nigeria Medical an Association (NMA) claims on the state of COVID-19 infections in Rivers state, saying a civil servant in Rivers state making such “unsubstantiated claims” in guise speaking through NMA shows how the medical body has drifted into murky waters of Nigerian politics.
He said, “NGF was a force who couldn’t toil with when PDP was in charge. NGF voice was feared. It had power because when we speak, it’s like our respective states were speaking. When I speak there, it’s like it is Rivers’s state that is speaking. Today, it has become a forum for the interest of one party. It’s most unfortunate.
“Since 2015 APC took over leadership of NGF, it has died. The forum has become a toothless bulldog, can only bark, can’t bite. They have captured them, not me. They are now like a beggars forum. Even when their rights suffer infractions, they can’t talk.
“So what are we talking in Edo state? I am not speaking for Obaseki but I have to be concerned. How can you say a sitting governor is being disqualified because his credentials were defective? And who’s disqualifying him, a man with no certificate, disqualifying a graduate of Nigeria’s premier varsity.
“This sitting Governor was presented by the APC National Chairman in 2016 when he was Governor. I listened to Adams Oshiomhle praise Obaseki to high heavens then, saying he was eminently qualified and came to help him (Oshiomhole) achieve all he achieved in his time.
“Oshiomhole should be apologising to Edo state people. He has no certificate. That’s why I tell him, practice what you preach. And APC Govs up till now can’t come out to say we can’t take this. They are now begging to rescue a sitting governor. You can’t even issue a statement.
“And these people claim they are progressives. We’ve seen how APC is defining progressives. That is how they handled these Infectious Diseases Bill. The Governors are supposed to lead and if they say, National Assembly drops it, they will listen.
APC action act of impunity
Wike said, “APC is only acting on impunity. It is not about a certificate. If not impunity, how can you gamble with disqualifying a sitting Governor? I am in charge of my state, a sitting governor. If you disqualify me and think you have killed me, I will also buy a casket for you.
“If not for impunity, no one can disqualify a sitting Governor and go free. You say you disqualify me, let me see how you win. Only a governor who doesn’t know what he’s is doing will cave in. I am not speaking for Obaseki, but as a Governor, I am concerned about him. I said NGF is not a single party forum.
“Oshiomhole impunity has come to question. It is the same impunity they have been trying in Rivers. Under Idris as IGP, I won the election and got to my office one day and saw that my security details have all been withdrawn, putting a sitting Governor in danger.
“Zamfara Governor then was NGF chairman under APC. They did not talk. Idris did not speak because it the only interest in APC that mattered. With impunity, in 2019 they say they have Army, police, power to visit terror on the state. They failed because Rivers people resisted them.
This impunity now has to disqualify a sitting Governor. In September, they will still bring terror to Edo. The God who saved Rivers from terror in 2019 will save Edo people from APC terror. Things don’t remain where they are forever, time changes.
Obaseki welcomed to PDP
On his disposition to Obaseki’s rumoured moves to defect to PDP, the Rivers Governor said, “He came to see me, we discussed. I see nothing wrong in that. If he says he is coming to PDP I will be very happy.
“PDP in Edo has a role to play. You cannot underrate him. Why should I be happy he was disqualified. If my party disqualifies a sitting Governor, I will lead the fight everywhere. I will not take it. Those using the army against the people, one day the reaction they will see will be unbelievable.
“They must learn from the experience in the US. Who would have thought the death of a common black man could spring such level of the uprising. One day you come out with troops, Nigerians will say no more. Edo 2020 will not be easy for APC. Everybody must be involved.”
NMA playing suspicious politics with Covid-19
On recent claims by Rivers chapter of the NMA that 22 doctors and 60 other health workers in the state have tested positive among Covid-19 infections in Rivers, Wike faulted the claims as misleading for reasons best known to the medical body.
He said, “As key stakeholders who are supposed to partner the State Government in fighting the pandemic, I am alarmed that NMA has become the people creating panic. I am more surprised that the Branch chairman who made the claim is not only a civil servant, but she heads an Isolation Center in the state.
“I’ve given everything required for the fight the pandemic, within available resources in Rivers. She is talking about the increase in health hazard allowances for medical workers. Does it mean they will not be infected with the increment? COVID-19 respects no one.
“We just lost a SAN, a very close friend. Nobody expected that to happen. The number she (Rivers NMA Chairman) gave is totally not correct. And she talked about increasing infections, but we all know that when you are doing more testing numbers are bound to increase.
“Everybody knows what we are suffering on sabotage of our borders. NMA did not say how the sabotage is thwarting our efforts. The NMA chairman has joined politics.
“There’s is more to it than meets the eye over her statements. I welcome her to the political arena. I hope she will be able to stand, carrying propaganda, stories that Re not correct.”