Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has taken a swipe at former Minister of Transport, Dr Abiye Sekibo, saying he does not fill such a leadership position to speak on behalf of the state.
Dr Sekibo is the Director General of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council in Rivers State.
The PUNCH reports that Sekibo, former governor of the state (now derecognised), Sir Celestine Omehia; former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Austin Opara; and the former senator who represented the Rivers South-East district, Senator Lee Maeba, had fallen out with Wike after they pitched their tent with the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, for the 2023 poll.
Governor Wike described Dr Sekibo as a self-seeking politician who was unable to bring any kind of democratic dividend to the state during his tenure as minister, as well as to his home town of Okrika in the state’s Okrika local government area.
Wike spoke during the inauguration of 319 Ward and 32 Constituency Liaison Officers in Government House, Port Harcourt, on Monday.
This was contained in a statement issued by Kelvin Ebiri, Special Assistant on Media to Governor Wike and made available to journalists.
The statement quoted Wike as saying, “I watched a video when one Dr Abiye Sekibo, while he was addressing people in his house yesterday (Sunday), said he is the director of Atiku’s Supporters in Rivers.
“I have no problem with that. But he cannot speak on behalf of Rivers State.
“In that video, he said that Rivers State has been having a close relationship with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and that Rivers State has always benefited from Atiku Abubakar.
“I want to correct one impression; Dr Abiye Sekibo has a personal relationship with Alhaji Atiku, not Rivers State.
“Dr Abiye Sekibo was Minister of Transport when Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was the Vice President of Nigeria. Can you people mention one project in Okrika, I don’t even want to talk about Rivers State, in Ogu/Bolo, one project that he brought down to Rivers State. Is there any?”
The Rivers State governor said leadership was not about personal aggrandisement but serving the people, and protecting their interests while building others up as competent successors.
Governor Wike stated that people like Dr Sekibo number among those who are never satisfied with the fortunes they have enjoyed in life. Otherwise, he should have been quiet in the public sphere about his failure in leadership.
Wike also mentioned the number of projects his administration awarded that were handled by Dr Sekibo, which today, in Sekibo’s estimation, has become something wrong.
The governor disclosed that the N2.1bn Okrika sand-filling project and the N2bn Okochiri internal road, for which the sums of N1.3bn and N1.6bn have been paid respectively, were awarded to Dr Sekibo, including the N1.4bn contract for the Okujaku Street, Danjuma Drive in Trans-Amadi, Port Harcourt.
He urged the Constituency and Ward Liaison Officers to do their work in getting reports on the feelings and expectations of the people about his administration’s performance.
Governor Wike declared that the PDP governorship candidate, all the House of Representatives, the Senate and the State House of Assembly will win in the 2023 general elections, saying the state was yet to determine what to do concerning the presidential election.
“PDP will win our state. I am not hiding it as far as the governorship, House of Reps, Senate, and State Assembly is concerned. The other one we have not decided until the right thing is done,” Wike noted.
When contacted, Dr Sekibo answered his call at the first dial by one of our correspondents but declined to speak on the allegations levelled against him by the governor.
The former Transport Minister simply said, “I have no response.”
The spokesperson of the PDP Presidential campaign council in Rivers State, Dr Leloonu Nwibubasa also declined comment.