Rivers State Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has threatened to expose some persons who had surreptitiously stopped the release of the loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to Abia and Benue States.
Governor Wike stated that the motive was to punish Governors Samuel Ortom and Okezie Ikpeazu for standing with him to demand for the resignation of the embattled national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Iyorchia Ayu.
The Rivers State Governor, spoke at the 58th birthday celebration of the Abia State governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu in his country home of Umuobiakwa community in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State, on Tuesday.
“I will tell you very soon, how money that was supposed to come to Abia State for my friend to use to develop Abia State was stopped recently by those who think they own this country, by those who think Ikpeazu did not support them. Because Ikpeazu supported me, they went and stopped Abia State from getting the money they are supposed to get to develop Ariara market.
“Okezie Ikpeazu is just governor of Abia State. He is not the owner of Abia State. He is just a symbol of Abia State. Anybody who fights Abia State, you’re not fighting Okezie, you are fighting the people of Abia.”
Governor Wike, who was the special guest of honour at the event, was accompanied by Chief Ayodele Fayose, former governor of Ekiti State.
The Rivers State governor explained that the CBN loan is a facility that is made available to every State of the federation. According to him, Rivers State government had accessed and secured the loan already.
“I will tell all of you, how Abia and Benue States were denied of their money that every State had gotten from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“I got it (CBN loan). And anybody who dare to stop my money, they know, I will not take it from them. You can see how people are wicked, they are not in office yet, but they are fighting people, stopping States money.
“Even as we have criticised President Muhammadu Buhari, he has never stopped our money any day, never.”
Governor Wike frowned at some Nigerians who always carry on as if they are masters over others, and would stop at nothing in daring to treat people as slaves.
The governor stated categorically that nobody can treat him as a slave because, as a Nigerian, he has equal citizen’s status like every other Nigerian.
“Let me tell all of you here, let me use the opportunity and Nigerians will hear. I never told him I will say this. Why would some people think some of us are not Nigerians, some people think some of us are slaves. We would never be slaves. I will never be a slave to anybody.”
Speaking further, governor Wike, who restated his position on the internal crisis within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said his allies demand is for inclusivity, wherein every region is given a sense of belonging.
Governor Wike emphasised that it will then mean when decision is taken, nobody will see or consider it to be sectional but representational, because neither the North or the South will be excluded from such process.
“So, I have told Ikpeazu to continue to be quiet and be a professor of proverbs. When we went to London, he told the person who called us to the meeting in London, you see this thing happening to PDP now is like that ship that wanted to capsize carrying Jonah.
“So, as the ship was going down, they went to Jonah, who said it’s me, it’s not the ship, and they took Jonah out of the ship. Jonah did not die. The ship stabilised. So, why not throw this Jonah out so that the ship can stabilise.”
In felicitating with Dr. Ikpeazu, Governor Wike lauded the courage and foresight of the celebrant to establish a library that will serve as a resource centre for scholars.
He inaugurated the library and donated N200 million.
Governor Wike stated his love for any form of contribution that is made to promote issues of education and expressed delight in what Governor Ikpeazu has done in immortalising his parents.
“Part of the problem we have in our country is no documentation. We don’t document events. Like he (Gov Ikpeazu) said, if he does not tell his story, some other people will tell it in a wrong way. So, let him rather tell the story.”
He reiterated that he does not associate with people who don’t mean well for their people.
In his remark, governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu expressed joy that on the occasion of his 58th birthday, he was able to formally inaugurate a library in honour of his late father.
The Pa Ishmael Ikpeazu library, he said, among others, will house the Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu Scientific Leadership Institute which has kick-started the enrollment of 50 students on fellowship, and a small family museum that has a collection relics of the family’s blacksmith heritage.
“Here, today, I am standing before the Pa Ishmael Ikpeazu memorial library. This library is supposed to reflect the ideals of my late father who was a teacher, who said that it is good to provide books for children as toys. If they read them, it’s okay. If they tear some in the course of play, no problem, but always keep a book in the environment of growing child.”
On his part, former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose noted how enduring the library built by governor Ikpeazu is because it will stock records of knowledge of the past and serve as centre for research, while also connecting people across generations.